Pair of apartment and commercial buildings of Anna and Jan Matoušek, and of Anna and Jaroslav Šíp
1934–1935

U Trati 2081/61, (Klatovská třída 2081/35) , Klatovská třída 2082/37 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.7396280N, 13.3714020E

The refined Modernist look of the the newly-forming district of Na Belánce (C3–2079C3–346C3–2151) is primarily a result of the successful collaboration between the Pilsen construction entrepreneurs Jan Matoušek and his wife Anna and the talented local architect František Němec Jr., which had been developing in Pilsen since the mid-1930s. Probably the most successful of their implementations is the double four-storey commercial and apartment corner house No. 3, which is the most exposed building by the bridge over the railway line to Domažlice and Cheb on the route out of the city centre.

Because of the key location of the house, the proposal for the architectural design of the facade underwent many changes and comments from the Pilsen City Council and its artistic committee, the first of which were initiated particularly in relation to the opposite elevated corner house of the builder Josef Špalek Sr. (C3–2074). Even the prominent Pilsen architect Bohumil Chvojka gave an opinion on the new form of the facade.

In the successful final project, the rounded corner was raised so that in that section at least the house would have the appearance of four storeys, thereby corresponding to the height of the Špalek house. This concept also built on the similar design of the facade of another of the Matoušeks’ nearby buildings, the corner house No. 41 (C3–2079). Running to the corner from both sides are slightly arched vertical bands tiled with ochre ceramic tiles, supporting the impression of a "tall building”, which the committee demanded. The spaces between the windows in the protruding smooth "Brizolit" cement rendered parts of the facade are tiled with clinker tiles of darker colour.

The new building contained commercial spaces on the ground floor with large, modern display windows. Each of the upper floors contained one- to three-room flats, each with kitchen, bathroom and a maid's room. At present the corner part of the double house is still in very good condition. The windows were replaced with respect for their original composition and colour of the frames, which is important for the overall architectural look of the house. The adjacent part of No. 37 was unfortunately supplied during reconstruction with windows with brown frames, which together with the decadent visual culture of the display windows in the parterre of the building detract from the unified architectural appearance.

An organic component of the whole construction project in the newly-built city block bounded by the streets Klatovská, Na Belánce and U Trati is the adjacent three-storey commercial and apartment building at No. 37 Klatovská Avenue, designed also by the architect František Němec Jr. Although the investors were not the Matoušeks, but Anna and Jaroslav Šíp, the preserved construction report reveals that they jointly came up with and consulted on the entire project. (Jan Matoušek even represented Jaroslav Šíp during the planning application process.)

In order to preserve the unified architectural feel of the block, which was conceived as a compact construction unit, František Němec applied to the new building the same formal features as the adjacent corner house had (as well as a morphology typical for the Pilsen Functionalist style): calm, proportionally balanced lines, the division of the facade with a shallow, centred projecting section of the upper facade with rounded corners rising slightly above the cornice, contrasting materials – smooth “Brizolit” rendering and two types of ceramic tiles – and narrow cases framing the windows.

 

The house had two mirror-opposite three-room flats of the usual layout on each floor. On the ground floor were four commercial units and two studio flats. In 1940, not long after completion of the building, the Šíps modified part of the loft space into a modest flat. During a later partial reconstruction, the house was unfortunately given windows with brown frames that, like the unsightliness of the shop windows in the parterre of the house as well as in the adjacent corner building, detract from the architectural appearance of the whole.

 


 

Investor

Jan Matoušek and Anna Matoušková

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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