Pair of apartment buildings of Anna and Jan Matoušek
1936–1937

U Trati 2151, 2152 / 55, 57 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.7397355N, 13.3719867E

The Pilsen construction entrepreneur Jan Matoušek and his wife Anna owned several buildings on the newly developed urban block on the site of the former Belani Brothers’ factory, among them the Functionalist double house Nos. 55–57 built in 1936–1937 in the street today called U Trati. The plans were drafted by the Pilsen architect František Němec Jr.

On the basis of the requirements of both the owners and the planning office, the artistic form of the three-storey building’s facade was meant to comply with the overall look of the housing block, which was perceived (and likewise labelled in the building permit) as “a unified architectural whole". The requirement also referred to apparently trivial details, e.g. the colour of the window frames. Němec therefore chose in this case also features typical of Pilsen Functionalism: a shallow central projecting section of the facade rising above the height of the upper storey, a smooth "Brizolit” cement rendered facade with the addition of ceramic tiles and large split windows with fanlights.

The layout of the two halves of the double house is essentially identical; it differs only in being mirror reversed, which applies also to the central placement of the paired front doors. Each half had one studio flat in the basement and four standard three-room flats, each with kitchen, bathroom and maid’s room.

Maintenance and minor repairs of the two houses, originally constituted a unit, which were for a long time administered separately, were unfortunately not conceptually planned. This can be seen in the different arrangement of the windows, different facade colours and cheap advertising billboards on one of the frontages. The unified architectural expression of the double house, which had been designed with an emphasis even on apparent trifles, is thus considerably undermined.

 


 

Investor

Jan Matoušek and Anna Matoušková

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
 
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