Built in the interwar period, the house now serves as headquarters of the Romanian-American Foundation and is firmly rooted in the tradition of private residences, boasting spaces of social interaction – a quintessential trait of the pre-war Bucharest lifestyle. In a way, its original use perfectly mirrors the foundation’s activities in terms of impact on and importance for society – an environment brimming with innovation, enterprise and social commitment.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the rooms at the ground floor were used by organizations or working groups as ideal locations for events focused on developing the key areas of RAF interest.
To help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, RAF House won’t host any public events in the foreseeable future.
The history of the house began in March 1927, when the Urbani family acquires a plot of land on Orlando street. Lady Maria di Urbani was not only Romanian (née Orăscu) but also the driving force behind the family’s social interactions and legal activities. It was on her initiative that the plot of land was bought and she supervised the construction of the house herself. In a way, it was her life’s work – obvious in so many fine details – such as her initials, exquisitely rendered in wrought iron and adorning the front doors.
Designed by architect Nicolae Nenciulescu – more famous for his project for the reconstruction of the Royal Palace, located on Calea Victoriei and currently housing the National Museum of Art – the house at no. 6 is an impressive exercise in the neo-romanian style. Finished in 1927, it was further enlarged in 1932 with a new salon built above the garage; this time, architect Sadi Herivan was in charge of the project. The Urbani family presumably enjoyed their new house up until 1938, when a city guide of Bucharest mentions no.6, Orlando Street as the address of the Spanish embassy.
You can discover more about the building and its history in the RAF House brochure, author Ioana Popovici.