Apartment buildings of the company Fr. Jenč, Fr. Hladeček and Fr. Kroft and Karel Votípka

Čechova 1976, 1912 / 4, 2 , Vrchlického 1913/1 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.7342028N, 13.3724844E

The southern part of the roughly triangular area bounded by the streets Dobrovského, Vrchlického and Čechova is dominated by the pair of four-storey corner houses (No. 1 Vrchlického Street and No. 2 Čechova), the construction of which was initiated at the end of the 1920s by the successful Pilsen building contractors František Jenč, František Hladeček and František Kroft. In 1931 this development was joined in Čechova Street by a formally identical apartment house No. 4, built for Karel Votípka by the firm of Antonín Mašek. Although an originally planned mirror-reversed building on the adjacent plot (No. 6) was ultimately not erected, this group of Modernist houses represents a counterpoint to the older surrounding buildings erected in Art Deco style at the close of the first decade and during the second decade of the 20th century.

The facades of the houses are distinguished by an elaborate arrangement of lesene frames and shallow projections, most prominent on the facade of the double house facing the public space, on which they rise up to a widely protruding cornice. An effective artistic feature consists of rounded corners accented by a small expanse of brickwork at the level of the fourth floor. Brick ornament also appears in an unobtrusive band passing vertically between the windows of the individual projecting sections.

All three houses contained mostly modest two-room flats with essential hygienic amenities, typical of the early 1930s when the housing crisis peaked. The corner houses, however, also had grander, three-room and four-room flats situated on the first and second floors, each of which even included a maid’s room.

Up to the present day the houses have not undergone any extensive building modifications that would disrupt their original architectural arrangement. The house with descriptive number 1912 is in want of sensitive reconstruction, as can be seen from its dilapidated, crumbling renders. The overall look of the buildings is impaired, however, by the inappropriate colour scheme of the parterre of No. 1913 and the visual degeneracy of indiscriminate shop displays.




Jenč – Hladeček – Kroft / Karel Votípka


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