Apartment building of Libuše and Jaroslav Nachtigal
1939

Kardinála Berana 2245/15 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.7437261N, 13.3705611E

One of the best quality examples of Pilsen Functionalist apartment house architecture of the late 1930s is that at No. 15 in today’s Kardinála Berana Street (formerly Škodova). One of the few new interwar buildings in the so-called “court councillors’ district”, it was designed by the architect Václav Neckář, who was commissioned by the tailor and haberdashery owner Josef Nachtigal and his wife Libuše. Neckář was most likely also the author of the plans for the nearby house No. 9, erected for the same investors, who, since they lived at the time in the same street, could keep a constant eye on the progress of construction of the two buildings, which were erected in a very short time by the builder Rudolf Pěchouček. After completion of No. 15, the Nachtigals moved into a luxurious apartment on the first floor, which had three rooms, a young lady’s boudoir and other amenities and was the only flat in the building equipped with central heating. The house also had other mod cons, such as a coal lift.

The four-storey house with a residential loft and a flat roof was arranged in two sections; the living spaces faced the quiet courtyard and the windows of the kitchens and servants’ rooms faced the street. Neckář placed a garage and a caretaker’s flat in the basement of the house and two two-room flats with amenities on each of the first, second and third floors. Apart from the owners’ apartment, there was also a smaller one-room flat on the first floor. The receding loft held a two-room flat, a laundry room and drying room and the flat roof of the third floor served it as a terrace. Neckář’s plans also included the garden landscaping and fence.

The Nachtigals’ house stands out on the street frontage primarily due to its three-storey high oriel in the shape of a three-armed cross set in the middle of the symmetrical facade, with three large windows in the central vertical illuminating the stairwell. The envelope of the stairwell rises above the parapet on the third floor, accentuating the vertical axis of the oriel. In contrast, Neckář set on both sides of the oriel horizontal corner ribbon windows and underscored it on the level of the raised ground floor with the line of a subtle overhanging panel. The upper part of the oriel, clad in light-coloured ceramic tiles, conceals the balconies of the third-floor flats. Neckář also employed ceramic tiling gently contrasting with a darker “Brizolit" render on the facade of the loft, which, due to being set back, is invisible from the street. Features of the geometrically arranged, smoothly rendered rear facade are a pattern of rectangular windows, balconies with steel railings and, by the owners' apartment, an abundantly glazed horizontal oriel.

Thanks to its still preserved architectural qualities, the house, which was listed as a cultural monument in 2001, is equal to Prague or Brno examples of Functionalist architecture.

 

LV
 

Investor

Libuše and Jaroslav Nachtigal

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
 
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