Anna Königová’s apartment building
1927–1928

Dobrovského 1814/3 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.7350483N, 13.3710136E

The now inconspicuous four-storey apartment house at No. 3 Dobrovského Street was at the time of its completion in 1928 one of the widely publicised Pilsen buildings. Erected by the construction firm of Josef Špalek Sr. according to plans by the then 28-year-old Václav Neckář, the house was one of the first local buildings to demonstrate the consistently geometric arrangement of mass and the uncompromisingly ornament-free Purist form, with economically shaped relief elements.

The basic layout of the house adhered to the conventions of the day – in the double-section arrangement were residential spaces facing the street and service spaces facing the courtyard. While the raised ground floor was symmetrically divided into a pair of two-room flats, there was a luxurious five-room apartment spread out on the first floor, which, in the tradition of the ‘piano nobile’ was reserved for the family of the property owner. The apartment in the street-side section comprised a living-room, a walk through dining-room space and the children's and parents’ bedrooms, while the rear section held a kitchen with a maid’s room and larder, a guest room, bathroom, two toilets, a chamber and small galleries. The architect situated on the second and third floors one three-room and one two-room flat each.

The formally austere main facade of the house is given dynamism by mans of several relief elements, most prominently two bays of different dimensions, which distinctly undermine the otherwise symmetrical composition of the facade: on the right is a vertical two-storey block and on the left a shallow horizontal mass with large French windows (behind which the house owner's dining room was situated). The flat roofs of both bays also serve as balconies for the flats above. The sculptural quality of the facade is also enhanced by low L-shaped pilasters framing the main entranceway, the slightly inset face of the ground-floor facade, a pair of lengthwise string courses lining the five windows of the upper floor above and below and window sills below most of the other windows. The facade is separated from the sloped roof by a massively projecting cornice with visible panel consoles. The facade with “Brizolit” cement rendering, which was supposed to have an earth brown colour with a darker expanse between the windows of the uppermost floor, is further divided by large split windows that brought sufficient natural light and direct sunlight into the interiors. The courtyard facade is dominated by a staircase avant-corps framed with galleries.

Apart from the replacement of the original wooden windows with plastic ones, the building has retained its original appearance. Lack of maintenance of the front facade of the house is evident, however, in the crumbling render of both bays.

 

LV – PK
 

Investor

Anna Königová

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
 
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