Son of Alfred Gottereau and Marie Pauline Gottereau (nee Perrin), Paul Gottereau was born in Perpignan, France, on March 29, 1843. In 1864, he enrolled in the 2nd grade at École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, attending its classes until 1866. At that point he dropped out of school before receiving a diploma, which was not a necessity at that time. Perhaps this is the moment when he decides to follow his own path in architectural design, which he certainly did later in his career, after his arrival in Romania, in the early 1870s. He lived here for about thirty years, designing over eighty public and private architectural buildings, in Bucharest and in other parts of the country, both in Wallachia and Moldova, as well as in Dobrogea.
His designs for public buildings are the most representative for the work that Paul Gottereau created in Romania over the years, many of which still exist. His approach in designing public buildings of considerable size, most conceived in a neoclassical architectural language, is not surprising considering his distinguished education at École des Beaux-Arts. One of his most popular projects is the design of the CEC building in Bucharest, on Calea Victoriei, erected on the same site where there had been a previous building, having the same function, but much smaller in size.
However, the important place he occupies on the Romanian architectural scene is closely related to the projects he is tasked with by King Carol I himself: the Royal Palace on Calea Victoriei, the Cotroceni Palace and the Central University Library "Carol I ". In addition to these highly significant projects for public buildings, he designed various other buildings for public service, such as those for the Financial Society of Romania, the French Circle, or the Romanian Bank. Gottereau never ceased his connection with the public and academic scene of French architecture as proven by his constant contact with it. In 1889, he was part of the team that organized Romania's participation in the Universal Exhibition in Paris, where he is awarded the bronze medal for the works exhibited here, consisting of the interiors he had previously designed for the Royal Palace in Bucharest.
In addition to the projects completed for public buildings, Paul Gottereau also designed a large number of private residences built both in urban and extra-urban areas. Ordered particularly by aristocratic families, these houses reflect, in a telling way, the opening of the Romanian society to the modern world, and especially during the second half of the 19th century, the adoption of the beloved French model, widely popular at the time.
To name but a few, but certainly not the only ones with a significant architectural value, we can mention the houses designed for several prominent families, such as Cantacuzino, Lahovari, Marghiloman, Văcărescu, and Carp, in Bucharest, as well as on their country estates. His work of over thirty years in Romania was rewarded during his lifetime by both the Romanian and the French state. Thus, in 1881, he was appointed Officer of the Order of the Crown of Romania, and by a decree, on December 31, 1897, Paul Gottereau was named Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour.
In the early 20th century, he moved back to France, in Marly le Roi, a small town near Paris. He lived there with his brother's family until his death, in 1924. (Florentina Matache, 2015)
(Perpignan, March 29th 1843 - Marly le Roi, nearby Paris, 1924)
1864-1865/1866 (?) - Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris, but he only took several courses, leaving his studies unfinished. He was brought in Bucharest by his father, with whom he collaborated on several edifices.
Disciples and exercised influences:
The Architects Carol Cichi/Cicu and Roger Bolomey.
The Romanian Royal Court Architect.
Public/administrative activity// professional activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees)
1883 - Commission appointed by the Board for the National Bank of Romania architecture project - architects Cassien Bernard and Albert Galeron. Besides Paul Gottreau, both eng. Gheorghe Duca, eng. Constantion Olănescu, arch. Nicolae Cerchez and arch. Alexandru Săvulescu were members of the commission.
1889 - member in the organizing committee for the Romanian pavillion for the Universal Exposition in Paris
Architecture projects (selection):
1873 - Assan House, known as Hotel Metropole, Calea Mogoșoaiei Street no. 66, Bucharest (along with Alfred Gottreau) - now dissapeared
1875 - "Algiu" House, Bucharest, Romania (radical repairs);
after 1875 - The Building of the Rural Land Credit, Bucharest, Romania;
1876 - additions for the National Theatre, Calea Victoriei Street, Bucharest - building disapeared
1876-1878 - Gh. Cantacuzino vault, Bellu Cemetery, Bucharest, Romania
1879-1880 - repairs at the Bărcănescu House, Arthur Veron Street, no. 17, Bucharest, Romania
1881 - repairs at the Maria Blaremberg House, Academiei Street, Bucharest - building disappeared
1881-1882 - repairs and extension of the Eugeniu Stătescu House, Colței Avenue, no. 53, Bucharest - dissapeared
1881-1882 - fencing Grigore Cantacuzino House, Calea Victoriei Street, no. 147/198, Bucharest
1884-1897 - "Marghiloman" Mansion in Buzau, Romania;
In the 1880s (1882-1885) – The Royal Palace in Calea Victoriei, Bucharest, Romania - rebuilt in the XXth century;
1882 - Văcărescu-Callimachi Manor, Mănești, Prahova County, Romania;
1883 - redical repairs at the Dr. Racoviceanu House, Negustori Street, no. 16, Bucharest, Romania
1883 and 1900 - repairs at the Brâncoveanu-Bibescu Palace, Bucharest
1884 - Ion G. Cantacuzino, Dionisie Lupu Street, no. 168, Bucharest, Romania
1884-1897 - Marghiloman Manor, Buzău, Buzău county
1885 - Ștefan Greceanu House, Calea Victoriei Street, no. 20, Bucharest - disappeared
1885 - George Em. lahovary, Griviței Street, no. 7, Bucharest
1886 - greenhouse and consolidation works for the Șuțu Palace (today Bucharest City Museum), Ion C. Brătianu, no. 2, Bucharest
1887-1888 - Olmazu House, Mercur Street, Bucharest - disappeared
1888 - The "Nifon Mitropolitul" Palace, Bucharest, Romania;
1889 - Băicoianu House, Romană Street, no. 47, Bucharest - disappeared
1889 - D. Stoicescu House, Batiștei Street, no. 2, Bucharest - disappeared
1889 - C.C. Arion House, Georges Clemenceau, no. 9, Bucharest
1990 - George Em. C.A. Rosetti Street, no. 1, Bucharest - disappeared
1890 - The Petrovici-Armis building, Bucharest, Romania;
aprox.1890 - The "Dacia Romania" Insurance Company, Bucharest, Romania;
1891 - "Iancu Marghiloman" House, Bucharest, Romania (repairs, extension of the terrace);
1891 - Leantey House, Plantelor Street, no. 17, Bucharest
1891-1895, 1914 - The Central University Library, Bucharest, Romania;
1892 - Văcărescu-Callimachi Chappel, Mănești, Prahova county (following the plans of Andre Lecomte de Nouy)
1892 - repairs at the Brâncoveanu Manor, Breaza, Prahova county
1893 - Emil Miclescu House, D.I. Mendellev Street, no. 30, Bucharest
1893 - "P. P. Carp" House, Bucharest, Romania;
1893 - Cotroceni Palace (today The Cotroceni National Museum), Bucharest, Romania;
1895 - repairs at the Maria Samurcaș House, Calea Dorobanților Street, no. 32, Bucharest - disappeared
1895 - Văcărescu Vault, Bellu Cemetery, Bucharest
1895-1900 - The Palace of the National Savings Bank (C.E.C. II), Bucharest, Romania;
1898 - "Dinu Mihail" Palace (today The Craiova Museum of Art), Craiova, Romania;
1898 - George G. Bibescu, Posada, Comarnic, Prahova county - only a few annexes survive
1899 - G. Em. Lahovary, National Bank and Smârdan Streets, Bucharest - disappeared
? - "Stoicescu – Gottereau - Arion" houses, Str. Georges Clemenceau nr. 5 - 7 - 9, Bucharest, Romania;
? - Cuculi House, str. Jules Michelet nr. 8, Bucharest, Romania;
? - The dependencies of the G. Gr. Cantacuzino property, Floresti, Romania.
? - "Alexandru Marghiloman" House, Bucharest, Romania;
? - Greceanu (Vlăhuți-Slăticeanu) House, Carol avenue, no. 6, Bucharest
? - Dr. Paul Petrini , Hristo Botev Avenue, no. 21, Bucharest
? - Maria Cantacuzino House (nowadays used as an annex for the Opthalmology Hospital), Lahovary Square, Bucharest
? - Dr. C. Cantacuzino House, C.A. Rosetti Street, no. 37, Bucharest - not preserved in its orriginal design
? - Dr. G. Stoicescu House, Georges Clemenceau Street, no. 5, Bucharest
? - Paul Gottreau House, Georges Clemenceau Street, no. 7, Bucharest
? - Al. Lucasievici House, Lascăr Catargiu Avenue, no. 18, Bucharest
? - extension of the George Em. Filipescu/Cesianu House, Calea Victoriei Street, no. 149, Bucharest
? - The Stejarul Church of The Royal Court, Bucharest, Romania (demolished nowadays).
1879-1880 – Barcanescu House, rented by the George Bibescu prince (the T.I.A.B. centre nowadays), Bucharest, Romania.
Titles and awards
Raised to the rank of officer of the Romanian Crown Order in 1881, he is awarded the bronze medal at the Universal Exposition in Paris (for the interiors of the Royal Palace in Bucharest).
He was decorated with The Romanian Star, being knighted and made a Commander of the Crown. In 1897, he received the Knight rank by the French Legion of Honour.
A.N.R. - D.M.B (National Archives of Romania - Bucharest City Department), PMB Tehnic fund
A.N.F. (Archives Nationales de France), Base de données Léonore: dossiers de titulaires de la Légion d'honneur, 1800-1976, „Paul Gottereau” file
A.N.F. (Archives Nationales de France), Fond Archives de l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts.
Musée dʼOrsay Documentation Center, Expositions Universelles 1889 – Pavilions Etranger folder
CONSTANTIN, Paul, Dicționar universal al arhitecților, Bucharest, Editura științifică și Enciclopedică, 1986
LASCU, Nicolae, Banca Națională a României și arhitectura, Bucharest, Editura enciclopedică, 2006
MARINACHE, Oana, MATACHE, Florentina, Broșură Traseu urban București. Arhitect Paul Gottereau, Bucharest, Editura Istoria Artei, 2015
MARINACHE, Oana, Stirbey: reședințe, moșii, ctitorii. Editura ACS, Bucharest, 2014.
MUCENIC, Cezara, București, Un veac de arhitectură civilă, Secolul al XIX-lea, Bucharest, Editura Silex, 1997
PENANRUN, David de, ROUX et DELAIRE, 1793-1907 Les Architectes Élèves de l'École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, Librairie de la Construction Moderne, 1907
SOCOLESCU, Toma T., Fresca arhitecților care au lucrat în România în epoca modernă: 1800-1925, Bucharest, Caligraf Design, 2004
Traseu urban Paul Gottereau, Editura Istoria Artei, Buchares, 2015.
La construction moderne, Librairie de la Construction moderne, Paris, France
MATACHE Florentina, „Paul Gottereau. A French Cultural Model to the Romanian Architecture in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century” in DICE (Diversité et identité culturelle en Europe), Editura Muzeul Literaturii Române București, number 12/1, 2015.