THE ROMAN EDIFICE WITH MOSAIC „TOMIS”
– RESCUE PROPOSAL –
The Roman Edifice with Mosaic „Tomis” expresses the greatness of the Greco-Roman city and port of Tomis. The monumental building served as maritime terminal and ship-owners’ and merchants’ club, by the end of 3rd century to early 7th century. From its vast initial three overlapping terraces, the now-a-days Edifice counts part of the Roman walls and arches, objects found in its stores, as well as a polychrome mosaic floor (360 m2). In Roman-Byzantine age, city authorities, ship-owners, and merchants met in the upper terrace of the luxurious hall of the building, to complete business transactions, participate in feasts, etc. This terrace, which was 100 m long and 20 feet wide, imposed because of its mosaic pavement with geometric and floral motifs inscribed in squares and circles, arranged around a central field. The second terrace of the building was located 9 m below the top terrace and included 11 warehouses, while the third terrace, located 4 m below the previous one, also consisting in vaulted spaces just outside the ancient port quays, is currently below sea level. A limestone staircase with large and tall steps connected the terraces. These terraces as well as all found objects (amphorae, oil, wine, iron, wax, resin, etc.) testify for the commercial and port functionality of the building.
Virtual reconstruction of the Roman Mosaic Edifice, realized by Ovidius University students
The whole Roman Edifice is protected by a glazed building from the 1960’. The museum collections exhibited in the include goods linked to maritime transports, found in warehouses: anchors, bars, weights, amphorae with paints and resins, statues, etc. Epigraphic monuments found in different archaeological centres of Dobrogea are exhibited in the former warehouses.
The old peninsular Constanta is marked by historical and archaeological heritage of national importance, concentrated in an area that will undergo important modernization and valorisation actions. Greek and Roman remains of national and international importance, unique buildings of patrimony, with rich architecture, and the overwhelming proximity of the Black Sea and the Port of Constanta determine the area to receive local authorities’ and investors’ attention in terms of regeneration and turning the entire area into a tourist attraction.
This development project of the Roman Edifice with Mosaic „Tomis” aims at its transformation into a cultural and historical experimental infrastructure integrating the existing museum and exhibition into a lively centre for inter-cultural events, art, media and business events, targeting thus its two defining elements, namely the archaeological tourist element nature and the animation element that attract and retain participants in a unique ambience. This project introduces a modern concept of full recovery of cultural resources of the city-port of Constanta, as well as of local competitive advantages due to important concentration of preserved remains of the ancient ruins and artefacts in the old city.
The approach proposed by the project observes objectives set by national and regional development strategies. Thus, investments in tourism and culture will enable the valorisation of such advantages as tourism potential and cultural heritage in identifying and strengthening the local identity, helping to improve the attractiveness of the city and create jobs. Additionally, the development project will contribute to reviving the old peninsular area of Constanta, through its services and activities, and to increasing visibility on Constanta Museum of National History and Archaeology, and to increasing popularity of this destination.
Furthermore, the project public-private partnership will combine the solid stability of the cultural institution, with the creativity and flexibility typical for business environment, thus responding to the need to involve the two sectors in order to obtain value added products. International experience shows that in the current context of development and in the near future, the chances museums to benefit of generous public funding is reduced, a viable solution being the private sector to make donations and support culture and regeneration of historical monuments.
III. EXISTING SITUATION
Constanta Museum of National History and Archaeology administrates the Roman Edifice with Mosaic „Tomis”. Due to strategic national and local priorities and, respectively, financial in the last 10 years, efforts of maintenance, restoration and conservation of the Edifice were targeted to minimize the effects of external factors on the vestiges and the protection building.
IV. DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL
The overall objective of the development project is to contribute to regenerating the peninsular area of Constanta on longer term, by creating a user-friendly cultural and historical space that promotes the Edifice in cultural context, through events and activities of culture, arts and business. The project proposes development solutions taking into account local and regional development strategies, adapted to the environment and to the current needs of visitors, as well as to local community members.
The project has the following specific objectives:
- to extend the museum component of the Edifice by integrating modern architectural elements and stimulate the new environment through inter-arts and business programs that build on the unique ambience of the remains and on the cultural potential of the city;
- to increase the traffic of Museum of National History and Archaeology visitors and tourists, of the Roman Edifice, and generally, in the old peninsular area;
to eliminate Edifice external factors of degradation and ensure an adequate indoor climate control contributing to the conservation of the remains and exhibits;
- to ensure the technical human and financial resources to promote cultural and artistic programs and museum activities, rational and transparent management of funds, regardless of their source (budget, extra-budgetary or sponsorship);
- to develop appropriate targeted programs by age, socio-professional categories, etc., and increase specialized assistance in promoting the Edifice;
- To enhance conditions for receiving visitors and participants in cultural and artistic programs by introducing specific utilities and facilities.
- To develop and promote information resources available to the public, by producing promotional materials, exhibitions, events or happenings;
- To develop partnerships with public, private and NGOs to promote and valorise the Edifice and the proposed project.
IV.2. Technical proposal
The permanent exhibition’s current condition of the vestiges is old and outdated. The project proposes the restoration of the exhibition, mainly by overlaying the terrace on a 1600 m2 – area (new floor of terrace) and replacing glazed spaces with insulating glass. Restoring basic exhibition of the remains and exhibits should be a priority in terms of contemporary evolution in museum techniques and new methods of artistic integration. The proposal observes the peninsular area development plans of restructuring and modernization.
By overlaying the terrace, the necessary space for organizing cultural and business events and activities, even less explored locally (conferences, concerts, theatre performances, exhibitions) will be made available, while by replacing the glazing walls and shifting them to the exterior, new volumes will be developed, including one “open square”. These works of overlaying and shifting the outside glass walls will determine two new rooms of appreciable size, 400 m2 each, and the enlargement of the balconies. Thus, the active interior area will become of 1,600 m2.
This area is proposed for the following functions:
- stage, backstage, wardrobe – 400 m2
- public space (visiting access, generous hospitality areas – over 500 seats) – 600 m2
- small room for projecting, conferences 200 seats – 400 m2
- foyer – cafeteria – terrace 500 m2 and indoor 400 m2
- storage space – 100 m2
- sanitary spaces – 150 m2
- Workshops and welling points 11 spaces and themes – 600 m2
The overlaying of the terrace will involve light elements and glass (curtain wall) – insulation glass, an approach that will provide comfort and space for events, professional ventilation equipment. The rehabilitation of local drainage network will eliminate infiltration sources that damage the archaeological site.
State of art multimedia and technical equipment will ensure these functions and the proper controlled for vestiges.
Special lighting technology will ensure the place to be an attraction even during night time.
Duration of investment implementation (construction and commissioning): 12 months
IV.4. Animation proposals
The project objectives will be achieved by promoting cultural, artistic and business programs addressing a variety of target groups. These programs will promote and capitalize on the Edifice, bringing it on participants’ focus and integrating it in contemporary culture. Also, these programs will enliven and attract investment partners from public, private and NGO sectors, while ensuring an effective system to protect the remains and exhibits.
Several types of programs will address visitors and tourists, local community, business, art lovers, etc.
Cultural and artistic programs
Cultural and artistic programs aim at adding value to Edifice archaeological experience, yet counting on the psychological impact of perennial vestiges and their connotations. Individual actions and events programs will deliberately promote new concepts of integration of the various arts, experimental nature, organization, broad partnerships. These programs will capitalize on exiting musical resources, such as the former Black Sea Philharmonic orchestra, and the local Art College, and propose a regular Five O’clock Tea Concert that will bring together participants into society events.
Constanta has internationally appreciated artists, but unfortunately very little promoted locally, because of a chronic shortage of sites and old-fashion approach of artistic and cultural events. Painting exhibitions, openings, conferences, competitions and happenings accompanied by a light and sound show will animate the proposed investment. Also, projecting events, theatre performances, ballet and contemporary dance events, concerts, etc. will be organized.
Museum-related special programs will be promoted aimed at mainstream and potential audiences of the museum, in order to boost the experience the Edifice offers while in contact with the vestiges. Target groups will include families (special programs for families), pensioners (they automatically attract close relatives – nephews, etc.), students (during the academic year students can be attracted to the museum, the place where they can improve skills acquired in college, and having the opportunity to practically apply them). These programs will be developed in partnership with Constanta Museum of National History and Archaeology.
Programs facilitating business partnerships
Programs targeting the business community will include the organisation and animation of a Business Club, in partnership with Constanta Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Shipping and Agriculture with which an agreement has been signed with this view. Targeted groups include businesses, professional and employers associations, universities and innovation-related entities, etc.
Local educational institutions will be invited to engage in a cycle of upgrading educational act by undergoing such subjects as history, geography r biology with the Edifice premises. These disciplines will be supported by documentation, mostly visual, auditory and interactive teaching materials to EU standards. Partnerships with Constanta School Inspectorate, Constanta high schools, public or private universities will be sought.
All activities will take place at the premises of the Edifice and determine the creation of at least 100 new jobs in culture and related areas (permanent and temporary).
V. STATUS OF THE PROJECTS
Juridical frame: public-private partnership nr. 1376 of 16.08.2006, revised on 11.08.2010 under number 16485, between Constanta Museum of National History and Archaeology and SC Groove Hour SRL, endorsed by Constanta County Council.
The project has a high maturity, and obtained the following permits and approvals:
- Urban Permit nr.4622/10.11.2006 revised under the Urban permit nr. 2642/3.09.2010
- Electric Power Distributor Permits nr. 3722/11.12.2006 and nr.36BC /25.01.2007
- Water and Sewage Permit nr.566/21.12.2006
- Public Health Permit nr.2-15143 /7.12.2006 (feasibility study phase)
- Telecom Permit nr.224/17500/8.12.2006
- Local Cultural Committee Permit nr. 142/21.12.2006
- Environmental Permit nr.39RP /30.01.2007 (feasibility study phase)
- Natural Gas Distributor Permit nr. 1727130.01.2007
- Traffic Authority Permit nr. 0001629/ 23.02.2007
- Initial Engineering Permit Ruxandra Banu Twardowsky 7.03.2008
- Ministry of Culture and Cults Approval nr.1037/.03.2007 concerning the restoration solution
- Ministry of Culture and Cults Approval nr.57/05.03.2008 Impact Study
- Dobrogea (local) Architects Order nr. 112/9.05.2008
- National Institute for Historical Monuments Permit nr. 510/30.04.2008
- Ministry of Culture and Cults Approval nr.114/CA22.05.2009 concerning the restoration solution
- Public Health Permits nr. 5924/28.05.2012 (technical project phase)
- Constanta County Council approval on the technical project nr7278/22.05. 2012
- Pending approvals: Environmental – technical project phase, Emergency Situation – technical project phase, Construction Safety – technical project phase.
In order to obtain the above mentioned permits and approvals, the following studies have been developed:
- Environmental Impact Evaluation approved by the Ministry of Culture and Cults, regarding the architectural solution
- Feasibility Study approved by the Ministry of Culture and Cults nr.152/M/ 27.05.2009 (seven variants)
- Structural Expertise for existing protection building
- Geotechnical study
- Geo-electrical study
- Non-destructive tests of existing concrete elements
- Mosaic Restoration Projects and Study, approved by the Ministry of Culture and Cults on 22.05.2009
- Technical Project approved by the Ministry of Culture and Cults fhase DTAC nr. 5944/25.11.2012