František Němec Jr.

Date of birth: 20. 9. 1898 Plzeň

Biography

The architect František Němec ranks among the most prominent personalities in building, social and other cultural life in inter-war Pilsen, where he was born into the family of a builder (his father of the same name was, among other things, co-author of the Jubilee Gate of the Pilsner Brewery from the year 1892) on the 20th of September 1898. In the years 1918–1923, František Němec studied architecture and structural engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague, and after acquiring some work experience he was active solely in Pilsen. He worked mainly for local, middle-class clients, for whom he created projects of residential, business and family buildings as well as villas, designed adaptations of interiors as well as factory buildings. His reconstruction of the Classicist castle Vísky in Trnová near Pilsen is well-known.

In the context of Němec’s Pilsen work, the set of Functionalist apartment houses and stores in the Belánka area from the 1930s on the site of the former Brothers Belani Factory stands out, having been very well received by the contemporary press (“... upon being realised, Němec’s plans for the reconstruction of Belánka became a permanent adornment of the city“). Together with the talented young architect of Jewish origin Leo Meisl, František Němec contributed fundamentally to the Modernist character of this city area. Němec applied the typical Pilsen take on Functionalism here, characterised by quiet, proportionally well-balanced lines, facade segmentation by shallow avant-corps and, most of all, the use of contrasting materials – smooth Brizolit plaster and colourful ceramic cladding.

František Němec also collaborated with the architect Hanuš Zápal on the prestigious commission of a double villa for the senior officials of the Burghers Brewery in Pilsen (1929–1931). He also participated in many private and public architecture competitions and exhibitions of the Association of Visual Artists of West Bohemian in Pilsen, of which he was a member and, after 1933, also the treasurer. After the First World War, while working as a clerk of the Pilsen Building Authority, he entered his designs in competitions for the J. K. Tyl monument and the American Army memorial.

 

Selection of other works

1929–1931
Double villa of senior officials of the Burghers Brewery, U Prazdroje St., Pilsen (together with Hanuš Zápal)

1936–1937
Design of the “Home” in Pilsen–Lochotín and the “Club House”, Pilsen
Competition design of the Švehla cabin in the Krkonoše Mountains

1946
Competition designs “1918–1945” (together with Otakar Walter) and “IM 1945” of the American Army Memorial, Pilsen

1946–1947
Competition design of the J. K. Tyl monument, Pilsen

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