Revenue authorities building (called Rašín House)
1924–1927

Škroupova 1760/18 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
Public transport: Masarykovo náměstí
Mrakodrap
GPS: 49.7415001N, 13.3749371E

The grand three- to four-storey building occupying a large part of a block in the newly developing part of the city centre (enclosed by the avenues Klatovská and Americká) was built for the Pilsen revenue authorities in 1924–1927. The author of the 1924 plans for the sprawling building was the Prague architect František Roith, a student of Otto Wagner’s, who was to return to Pilsen again in the mid-1930s with his design for the building of the Prague Municipal Insurance Company (C1–356J). Originally, part of the entrance space to the revenue office building was designed as a monument to Alois Rašín, the first Czechoslovak Minister for Finance, who was fatally wounded in a 1923 assassination attempt, and the building was called Rašín House after the monument. The construction work was taken on by the Pilsen building firm of Mandaus, Doubek, Pechman and Company. Apart from 1928 modifications to the office spaces in the basement for the requirements of the Post Office, the building has not been affected by any extensive construction interventions. In the postwar period, however, plans were drafted in April 1950 for conversion of the original loft space into additional offices.

The monumental building of the Pilsen revenue authorities was one of the first implementations to bring František Roith recognition in the 1920s and 30s as a designer of important public buildings. As in the case of his Municipal Library on the square Mariánské náměstí in Prague (1925–1928), the architect achieved in his plans for Rašín House an impressive synthesis of Classical and Modern elements, in this case enhanced with Art Deco features. The symmetrical main facade, divided by a pattern of windows and a row of pilasters, is dominated by the entrance avant-corps with a portico of dressed red sandstone topped with a balcony. Above the windows of the second floor are mounted seven ceramic reliefs of ducats depicted alternatively from each side, the work of the sculptor František Rous. The avant-corps rises above the adjacent sides of the facade and is crowned with the emblem of the Czechoslovak Republic and allegorical statues of Industry and Agriculture by the sculptor and potter Jaroslav Hruška, a native of Pilsen and author of the Czechoslovak War Memorial in La Targette, France. The actual facades are executed in a combination of coloured “Brizolit” renders, the brick masonry of the pilasters and a sandstone socle.
Although Roith conceived the main facade as axially symmetrical, the ground plan layout of the E-shaped building is not; three shorter wings in the rear encompass an inner courtyard. In his design of the layout, the architect employed a longitudinal two-section system of walls with the office spaces separated only by subtle partitions. The most significant part of the interior is the entrance lobby, to which is attached a hall with columns and a double-winged staircase. The windows in the entrance lobby, halls and corridors are ornamented with stained glass panes with the Czechoslovak state emblem, allegories and floral designs. Since 2000, the building has housed the Pilsen Regional Authority.

 

LR
 

Investor

City of Pilsen

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
 
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