Commercial and apartment building of Josef Špalek Sr.
1934–1935

Na Belánce 2074/1, (Klatovská třída 2074/39) (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.7392675N, 13.3713376E
Architect:

The commercial and apartment house of the Pilsen builder Josef Špalek Sr. dating from 1934–1935 stands out with its rounded forms, pastel colouring of the facade and use of a flat roof in the overall concept of the development on Na Belánce, the architectural look of which was determined primarily by the apartment houses of Jan Matoušek and his wife Anna, designed by František Němec Jr. in a modern, though not radical Functionalist style. Špalek assigned the drafting of the plans for his house to the excellent Pilsen architect Leo Meisl, who a few years later designed his own similarly impressive apartment house at No. 6 Na Belánce (C3–2185).

Due to the fact that the investor, Josef Špalek, was handling the preparatory work and acquisition of planning permission almost at the same time as the Matoušeks were applying for a permit for the opposite corner house No. 2 (C3–2079), the procedure involved numerous comments from the planning committee in order that the houses should correspond formally. The architect Bohumil Chvojka was among those who issued an opinion on the final form of the house. Ultimately the investor managed to push through an exceptionally artistic architectural arrangement of a characteristically rounded corner, the aerodynamic shape of which is enhanced by three horizontal bands with green ceramic tiling projecting in front of a pair of smoothly rendered jettied sections of the upper floors. Meisl’s handwriting is revealed also in inconspicuous details, such as relief variations on ceramic tiles in the entranceway on the Na Belánce side, which he also employed in other projects. Špalek was also able finally to implement a residential loft with a flat roof, creating the impression of a fourth floor. In order for this superstructure to harmonise with the neighbouring houses, however, it was slightly set back.

The new building contained a total of eight flats of various layouts – from a one-room caretaker’s flat on the ground floor to two- to four-room flats with kitchens, bathrooms and maids’ rooms on the second and third floors and an almost luxurious five-room flat in the loft, which spanned the area of the entire first floor. The ground floor also included three commercial spaces with large display windows.

Due to its outstanding architectural concept, one of the few examples of so-called "emotional" Functionalism in Pilsen, the house was listed in 2008 as a cultural monument.

 


 

Investor

Josef Špalek

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
  • Jiří Fořt, Změny v názvech plzeňských ulic a náměstí v průběhu novodobých dějin a jejich historická podmíněnost (bakalářská práce), katedra historie FPE ZČU, Plzeň 2012.
 
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