State apartment houses
1927–1928 / 1931

Stehlíkova 1831, 1830, 1928 / 10, 8, 6 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.7360085, 13.3719223

In the neighbourhood of the residential houses for Police and Post Office employees and military professionals (C3–1731) built in 1924–1929 in today’s Edvard Beneš Street according to plans by J. K. Říha, another series of state residential houses was erected in the late 1920s in Stehlíkova Street, this time designed by the Pilsen architect Václav Neckář. Both complexes share the large, park-like gardens of the inner courtyard.

The state development of houses with small flats was one of the efforts of the public sector at that time to deal with the enduring housing crisis that prevailed especially in big cities. The problem was not only a lack of new flats, but also the unsuitable hygienic conditions of the existing ones (which often housed newcomers to the cities employed in large industries. With the objective of ensuring appropriate housing for the more populous classes of Pilsen citizens, almost the entire area between Klatovská Avenue, Edvard Beneš, Alešova and Stehlíkova Streets was developed.

The first stage of development of the trio of state residential houses, during the course of which two other five-storey sister buildings were erected at No. 10 (i.e. house A) and No. 8 (house B), was underway in 1927–1928. The exteriors of the two buildings are apparently identical, but in fact the two-section houses differ in depth and the consequent layout of the interiors. While each of the above-ground floors of the 22m deep house B are divided into four minimal living units consisting of a room, kitchen, hallway, bathroom, toilet, larder and loggia, each floor of the 18m deep house A has larger two-room flats with amenities and a maid’s room.

In 1929, the architect included both types of flats in his plans for the five-storey house at No. 6, which was appended to the A and B buildings in 1931: on the left side of the slightly asymmetrical ground plan of each floor, which had a depth of 20m from the street frontage, he designed two smallish one-room flats, and on the right-hand side one larger flat with two residential rooms and a maid’s room.

The Purist, smoothly rendered facades of both of the older houses are divided symmetrically by the five-storey high avant-corps of the staircase, set on shallow pilasters that also create an entrance portal. The avant-corps is lined on each side by rectangular loggias and pairs of windows set almost flush with the facade and emphasised by narrow window sills. The two houses are tied together by a continuous string course in place of the first-floor window sills and a deep cornice beneath the pitched roof. Neckář also conceived the rear facades of the buildings symmetrically, i.e. according to the central axis of the loggias, in each case bordered by two ribbons of split windows emphasised by narrow sills. The design of both facades of the later building is identical, with the exception of the asymmetrical placement of the vertical axis of the house (and the staircase avant-corps) and a lower socle, which compensates for the height difference in the slightly sloping street.

The morphology of the residential houses in Stehlíkova Street is in its details (e.g. the design of the entrance or the arrangement of the windows with their sills) akin to another progressive building of Neckář’s – the nearby apartment house for Anna Königová erected at the same time at No. 3 Dobrovského Street (C3–1814). Apart from the youngest of the houses at No. 6, however, the original aesthetic qualities of the frontage of the complex was disrupted by more recent reconstruction – thermal cladding of the facades, due to which the relief effect of the string courses was reduced to narrow strips, new plastic windows of inappropriately contrasting colour were sunk into the depths of the thick circumference wall and window cases and a socle were added.


LV – PK

Investor

State Administration for Construction of Residential Homes in Pilsen / Státní správa novostavby obytných domů v Plzni

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
 
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