by Andreea Movila from “G. M. Cantacuzino” Architecture Faculty, Technical University of Iași, RomaniaTutored by: Prof.Dr.Arh.Virgiliu Onofrei

Author comments:

Chiajna Monastery is the name of a ruined church situated on the outskirts of Bucharest, which was meant to be one of the most important places of worship for Romania, but that never happened. The work on the monastery began in 1792, but was abandoned during the time of plague and bombarded by the Turks even before consecration.The theme of the project – a center of social activities around Chiajna Monastery, starts from the premise that social assistance is no longer sustainable, and the optimal way is to integrate disadvantaged people through inclusive social activities. 
The historical monument is situated on a water surface in order to delimit the sacredness of the area around it, the terraces facing the monument being green so that the relief that is formed will be like the landscape of a forest embracing a monastery.The volume inside the church(fully made of glass: beams, columns, panels) articulates the new intervention and turns into a library (God’s wisdom – people’s knowledge). The tower marks through the hollow the legend of the bell thrown in Dambovita river during the plague…and now it still sounds in the water… of time. The general concept of the “amphitheater towards the ruin” situates the church in the center of the composition.The new and active functions will transform the untouched monastery into a living and dynamic settlement, which essentially potentiate the church’s social mission for centuries.Beyond the Monastery is the mission beyond the walls.