Václav Neckář

Date of birth: 27. 7. 1896 Mladá Boleslav

Death date: 10. 7. 1964

Biography

The architect Václav Neckář was born on the 27th of July 1896 in Mladá Boleslav, where he also attended grammar school. He studied architecture at the Faculty of Architecture and Structural Engineering in Prague with Professors Antonín Balšánek, Alois Čenský and Rudolf Kříženecký, and then he gained experience working with Jan Kotěra. He started to make his own designs in 1922. A year later, he became a professor at the Czech State Technical School in Pilsen and in 1924 he received his PhD in technical sciences. After taking the state exam in 1925, he became an authorised civil engineer for architecture and structural engineering, and he left the technical school and founded his own design studio in Pilsen. Although he took part in many competitions for public buildings in other towns and cities as well, it is the West Bohemian capital that most of his realisations are to be found in. However, the quality of his architecture work undoubtedly exceeds the boundaries of Pilsen. Neckář was also involved in the association’s activities in Pilsen – he was an active member of the Association of Pilsen Artists, which was transformed into the Association of Visual Artists of West Bohemia in the year 1925.

The first significant architectural work of Neckář in Pilsen was the design of the Institute for People with Hearing Impairments in the Pilsen suburb of Bory from 1925; although this progressive project was not realised, the public had the opportunity to see it at the Exhibition of Contemporary Culture in Brno (1928). In contrast, his design of Anna Königová’s house came to fruition between 1927 and 1928 (C3–1814), as did a set of three state residential houses from the years 1927–1930 (C3–1831). Both of these realisations are characterised by the Purist form of their facades with shallow protruding bays and avant-corps, and accentuated horizontals of window ledges. In the late 1920s, Václav Neckář took on different types of assignments as well – in the year 1929 he made a project of a temporary training ground for the Sokol sports organisation in Bory, Pilsen and participated in the open call for designing the National Bank of Czechoslovakia building on Petákovo Square in Pilsen in the same year.

Two outstanding Functionalist villas were built in the West Bohemian metropolis to Neckář’s designs at the turn of the 1920s and 1930s – the villa of Heřman Konejl in the south-east tip of the Bezovka villa colony (C4–1930) and the house of Václav Ornst in a similar area in Pilsen–Lochotín. During the fourth decade of the century, Neckář devoted a significant part of his creative activities to civil buildings – the years 1930–1934 saw the emergence of unrealised designs of a large complex of Trade Schools (with B. Chvojka and also J. Čada at first) and of the building of the Hus People’s University. Both sets of projects were to be realised on Denisovo nábřeží (Denis Embankment) in Pilsen. In the year 1934, a Trade School was built to a project by Neckář in Klatovy. However, the architect also worked on designs of commercial spaces (the unrealised design of a department store in Pilsen) and administrative buildings – together with Gustav Paul and František Čermák he is credited with the project of the largest functionalist realisation of inter-war Pilsen – the Police Directorate building (C1–1778). The end of the 1930s is framed by the realisation of an impressive Functionalist apartment house for the Nachtigal family (C2–2245) and a residential house of a similar expression not far away – also in the then Škodova Street (Kardinála Berana Street today).

Václav Neckář didn’t stop designing during the Second World War – in the early 1940s he designed an adaptation of the Peklo Culture House together with Bohumil Chvojka. His work for Pilsen and its surroundings of that time reflects the influence of Regionalism – examples being the Traditionalist gamekeeper’s lodge of the Metternich-Winneburg estate near Plasy from the year 1940 and the renovation of Juránek’s Chalet of the Pilsen Ski Club in the Šumava Mountains from the year 1945. After the war, the architect worked on the reconstruction of the City Spa House in Pilsen, badly damaged in an air-raid in 1944 (C1–1217). In the post-war years, he designed late Functionalist state residential houses on Náměstí Českých bratří (Czech Brethren Square) in Pilsen together with B. Fridrich. In the year 1948, Václav Neckář, like many of his colleagues, became an employee of Stavoprojekt, a state building company. Here his design of University Dormitories in Máchova Street was constructed among others, as well as designs of sets of residential houses for housing estates in Vejprnice, Kaznějov and Sušice, a study of a reconstruction of the Small Theatre (the former German Theatre) on Gorkého (Goethova) Street in Pilsen and design of a crematorium and ceremonial hall in Teplice. He left Stavoprojekt in 1953 and worked independently. Two years later, the culture house in Hrádek u Rokycan was completed according to his design, a monumental building in Classicising – and in decoration elements very restrained – Socialist Realism spirit.
Václav Neckář died on the 10th of July 1964.

 

LV / PK

Selection of other works

1922–1923
Unrealised design of the Provincial Technical School building, Mladá Boleslav
Design of the building of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, České Budějovice

1925
Unrealised design of the Institute for People with Hearing Impairments on Benešovo Square (Náměstí Míru today), Pilsen

1926
Competition design for arrangement of the Exhibition of Northern Bohemia, Mladá Boleslav

before 1927
Project of the Sokol sports organisation riding school, Mladá Boleslav

1928
Workshops and warehouse extension of V. Šíp Factory, Pilsen–Roudná

1929
Stadium for the Sokol movement sports festival, Pilsen–Bory
Unrealised competition design of the National Bank of Czechoslovakia building on Dr. Václav Peták Square (Masaryk Square today), Pilsen

1930–1931
Villa of Václav Ornst in Růženy Svobodové St., Pilsen

1930–1934
Unrealised competition design of the Trade School complex (with B. Chvojka and also J. Čada at first)

1931–1932
Extension of Dr. Mulač Sanatorium on Dvořákova St., Pilsen

Early 1930’s
Unrealised competition design of the City Savings Bank in Přeštice
Unrealised competition design of the District Public Hospital, Mladá Boleslav (together with F. Čermák and G. Paul)

1932
Unrealised competition design of the Hus People’s University on Denisovo nábřeží, Pilsen

1934
Building of Trade Schools, Klatovy

before 1935
Unrealised competition design of a department store, Pilsen

1940
Gamekeeper’s lodge of the Metternich-Winneburg estate near Plasy

Early 1940s
Design of reconstruction of the Peklo Culture House (together with B. Chvojka)

1945
Renovation of Juránek’s Chalet of the Pilsen Ski Club in the Šumava Mountains (together with O. Prokop)

Turn of the 1940s and 195’s
Complex of university dormitories on Máchova St., Pilsen–Bory
Study of the reconstruction of the Small Theatre (the former German Theatre) in Gorkého (Goethova) St., Pilsen
Design of sets of residential houses for housing estates in Vejprnice, Kaznějov and Sušice
Design of a crematorium and ceremonial hall in Teplice

1947–1951
State residential houses on Náměstí Českých bratří (Czech Brethren Square), Pilsen (with B. Fridrich)

1955
Culture House in Hrádek u Rokycan

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