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Main authors: asocierea TERA DESIGN STUDIO SRL – TERA ARHITECTURA SRL: Tamara Roseti, Tamara-Maria Popovici, Andrada Eftime, Traianus Popovici, Gabriela Vlăsceanu, Cristina Irimia, Elena-Delia Rusu, Daniela Măuță

Co-author: Amalia Anastasia Gîscă – Chițac

From the urban to the natural

Lacul Morii

 “The dragon is the paradigmatic figure of the marine monster, of the primordial snake, symbolic of cosmic waters, of darkness, night, and death – in short, of the amorphous and the virtual, of everything that has not yet acquired a form […] – the dragon must be conquered and cut into pieces by the gods, so that the cosmos may come to birth.”

Eliade, Mircea, Consecration of a Place = Repetition of Cosmogony in Chapter 1: Sacred Space and Making the World Sacred, “The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion” (New York: Harcourt, Brace, & World, 1957)


In “The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion”, Romanian philosopher Mircea Eliade contemplates the machinations of theology, correlating the cosmogonic act to the contemporary production of space. Incidentally, the author raises the issue of the role of the modern architect, who must consider the metaphor of the sacred and the profane in the deliberation of the manufactured and the natural, in perpetual antithesis, from a revived perspective.

Articulated as the subject of an imperative systematisation, the discourse, at present, shifts the natural from the order of the profane to the order of the sacred, attributing to the natural the responsibility to harmonise the precarious relationship amongst the species, which results from the manufactured conquering the natural.

The park, the facsimile of the lost paradise par excellence, where the manufactured and the natural commingle, engenders the opportunity to subvert the canonised act to control, to rationalise, to use, and to consummate the natural. Instead, the architect must mediate the symbiosis between the manufactured and the natural, to efface the erroneous distinction between the sacred and the profane.

The return to the natural constitutes a priority in the contention of the manufactured, which transforms the reason, the harmony, and the health, originally aspired to, into the grotesque deformity, the modern dragon.

The contemporary architect must restore the harmony between the sacred and the profane, to balance the human experience. In this, the island serves the purpose to culminate the introspection in the natural within the insular placidity of the lake.


Perhaps the result of the simple governmental negligence, the site constitutes the centre of the antithesis between the sacred and the profane, to integrate one half of each, in the form of the lake.

The proposal capitalises upon the juxtaposition between the manufactured and the natural, to mirror the delta at the opposite end of the Dâmbovița River, and to position the sacred and the profane in tension to each other, subverting the identity of each, and inspiring the user to question the antagonism.

The proposal takes the user on an initiatory journey from that, which is perceived to be sacred, the urban environment, to that, which is perceived to be profane, the natural environment, in search of the frolics inherent to the lost paradise.

With the assistance of the natural, translated in the organisation, the programme, and the form of the park, the proposal stimulates the user to introspect.

1          From dawn to dusk

The proposal invites the user to the initiatory journey by means of the linear path, which gradates the sacred and the profane in the park, on the one hand, and the atmosphere in the park, on the other hand.

The linear path divides the embankment, the border to the urban environment, centrally, and reduces the potency in the island, where, adjoining the water, it engenders the compounded centre for quiescence.

The proposal choreographs the experience of the sacred and the profane in the alignment to the natural. It positions the manufactured in concordance with the solar transition in the site. Thus, the linear path concentrates the energetic programme toward the dawn, in the south–east, and the abeyant programme toward the dusk, in the north–west.

Finally, the proposal incorporates the nucleus, not at the ends of the linear path, but at the centre, where the manufactured and the natural commingle in the form of the island.

The proposal subordinates the island to the circadian rhythm, so that the active programme in the island abounds with sun, while the inactive programme shadows, to align to the rhythm of human life, which begins with the rise and finishes with the slump.

2          Out in the open

Programmatically, the proposal integrates the polemic in the distribution of the site activity, which transitions from the frivolous to the contemplative. The programme does not seek to function, but to subordinate to the natural, especially to the aquatic environment, which the programme frames for the user.

The user may designate the function in the site through the transition in the park, assisted by the formulation of the flexibility of the proposal. Thus, the proposal does not control the attitude of the user toward the manufactured and the natural, but surveys the attitude through the reading of the dispersal of the user in the site, who may transition from the loud, public space, such as the event area, or the fitness area, to the silent, intimate space, such as the nestling platform, or the ornithological tower.

The island serves to centre the proposal, culminating the manufactured and the natural in symbiosis. The island engenders the opportunity for both the programmed and the unprogrammed, by exploiting the psychological urge to follow the sun, so that the sheltered programme, which focuses the educational apport of the park to the user, is positioned in the shadow, while the natural comes out in the open.

3          Line

The proposal introduces the line to the architectural expression in the park. Thus, it subordinates the manufactured to the natural, from the point of view of the form.

The architecture intervenes in the site discreetly, through horizontal truncations, which reflect the genesis of the lake. It associates the manufactured with the natural through the material simulation, on the one hand, and the contextual simulation, on the other hand.

The embankment circumscribes the lake, within which the secondary island is compounded. The proposal positions the architecture along the directions in the site, without obstructing the perspective toward the point of attraction in the natural.

The line of the Delta Pavilion parallels the axis of the island, dispelled in the north, to permit the user to recollect in the sun. Two other buildings house the functional programme and are situated at the outset of the island, to not invade the centre, which becomes an enclave to introspection.

None of the buildings oppose the shorelines, but reflect it. The two functional buildings create a filter which does not obstruct the visual connection between the soil and the water through their fragmentation. The Delta Pavilion crystallises in favour of the natural, the modern canon.

Ad fin, the proposal softly elevates the natural in the understanding of the user in the park from an entity, unceasingly villainised for the otherness of its form, to disguise the truth, that the natural constitutes, in fact, the sacred, the perfect system, the ultimate harmony, to which to return.