The “COSMOS” HOTEL (CHISINAU)
The Cosmos Hotel is situated in the center of the city, at the intersection of the Constantin Negruzzi Boulevard and Dimitrie Cantemir Boulevard. By withdrawing from the alignment, a small square was created in front of the building, in which the equestrian statue of Kotovski is located. A controversial personality, the communist activist Grigory Ivanovich Kotovski (1881-1925) is for some a Bolshevik hero, and for others a worthless man.
The construction work of the Cosmos Hotel lasted for nine years, from 1974 to 1983, when it was put into use. The labor unions of the Republic of Moldova, which owned two other smaller hotels, “Tourist” and “Doina” at that time, funded what was to become the country’s largest hotel. The building was designed by the architects B.Banykin and Irina Kolbayeva.
The hotel has a height of ground plus 19 floors and during the socialist period was one of the largest hotels in Moldova. The building is made with reinforced concrete structures and prefabricated elements, with the ground floor and the mezzanine well developed horizontally and a lot of annexes having different uses, beside the accommodation facilities, such as catering spaces, a casino and a business center with conference rooms.
The building site was intended to be a strategic location, since it has been built close to the only rail station, near the central square and the bus station and at 11 km distance from the Chisinau International Airport.
Due to the fact that the opportunities to travel on vacation in the 1980s were often limited to the Soviet Union, Moldova was a country with a pronounced tourist nature. In this period, the hotel occupancy rate reached 90% during the season, and from September to November, even 100%.
With the political changes from the period following 1990, the business status of the largest hotel in Moldova changed, the number of the tourists decreasing drastically. In order to use the hotel at its full potential, and considering the strategic location of the building, the administration decided to lease rooms as office spaces and in the lobby or on the floors, as commercial spaces.
Between 1997–2004, a series of investments were made at the “Cosmos” Hotel, in order to increase the economic efficiency and the quality of the services provided. Following its modernization, the hotel went from a two-star classification to the three-star one. Some major investments were carried out in rooms’ renovation, including the changing of carpentry, wall-finishing repairs, bathroom reconditioning and the replacement of plumbing.
In 1992, the hotel was owned by the state company Tourist Hotel Complex “Cosmos”, which was part of the Union Tourism Association “Concediu”, an association that eventually led to the formation of the “Moldsindtur” Concern, subsequently renamed “Moldsindbalneotur” Holding.
In 2000, according to the land register, the complex was registered in the property of “Moldsindtur” Concern SRL, whose founder had been the General Federation of Trade Unions of Moldova.
In 2007 the Cosmos Hotel was sold without auction to the investor “Delma Grup” SRL and later in 2011 the property was re-sold to the company “Infotom-com” SRL, whose founder is “Ghermivali”.
Currently, the hotel is not used (is not operating ) at full capacity. The finishes are deteriorated in most of the accommodation rooms, the ceramic tiling and sanitary facilities in the bathrooms are degraded, but the public spaces on the ground floor and at the mezzanine level are in better condition than the units for accommodation.
Next to the Cosmos Hotel building, a number of parasite constructions have appeared (Grand Hall Commercial complex– built in 2002, further extended in 2011, a Casino built in 2008 and other commercial spaces that replaced a Disco PEOPLE which initially has appeared in 2005). Those extensions represent a negative example of commercialization of space that have nothing in common with the initial function provided for Cosmos complex. In addition to these considerations, there is also a stylistic inconsistency between socialist modernist period and the latest add-ons.