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The Ploiesti-Nord District

Ploiesti, Romania
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Ploiesti is one of the main cities that surround the country's capital. It dates back to 1503 as a village on the territory of Tara Romaneasca. The Ploiesti-Nord district comprises 10.000 apartments. The area was built as a collective housing space. Most of the buildings are ranked as high seismic risk and need structural rehabilitation. Because the edifices were projected before the great earthquake of 1977, their structural strength respects old parameters, which makes them even more fragile in case of earthquake. The mix between modern and old buildings gives a specific flavor to the district, like a living memory of the socialist period and its architectural techniques and systematization methods. The buildings in the Ploiesti-North district are used as follows: collective living spaces (the great majority of the complex), merchantry and other services (the Small Commercial Complex and the North Commercial Complex - the latter of greater importance), light industry (textile industry - Artisan's Complex), education (a number of nursery schools), green spaces (North Park and small gardens surrounding the living spaces). The North Commercial Complex is the main retail venue of the district. Also built in the '60s and '70s, the ensemble respects the style of modern Romanian architecture: simple volumes, concrete architectural details on the facades - dark-green ceramic slabs on the facade - a playful arrangement of simple volumes that follow the lines of the backyard. The structure appears to be of concrete and is sustained by very thin, cylindrical metal masts that create an open space. The Small Commercial Complex is also a modernistic building from the '60s-'70s, built after the same criteria: simple columns, large glass partitions, a concrete structure with cantilevers placed on a series of cylindrical metal masts that create an airy, open and protected space. The Artisan's Complex is intended to be used in light industry activities (textiles) and this doesn't involve any aggravating changes. Also, the fact that the building is owned by a single person, has saved it from stylistic fragmentation.