Jaroslav Šafránek’s house
1927–1928

Žižkova 1837/48 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.7318275N, 13.3654617E
Builder:

A distinguished native of Pilsen, the physicist and mathematician Jaroslav Šafránek (1890–1957) was, among other things, one of the founders of the Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen and constructed the first apparatus for transmitting and receiving mechanical television. Šafránek had a multigenerational villa built for himself and his family in the villa area Bezovka in the years 1927–1928. Šafránek partly financed the building’s realisation by the Prague architect J. Kotík with money from one of his patents (the invention of a simple variant of radar).

The two-storey villa with a residential attic is located on a large corner plot of a conical shape, enclosed by Žižkova and Schwarzova Streets. The representative symmetrically arranged facade, facing the corner of the streets, is enhanced by an avant-corps with an open arcade on the ground floor. The risalit, in combination with long-paned windows and the gabled roof, boosts the Classicising to Traditionalist expression of the building, influenced by pre-war Modernism. On the other three sides, the mass of the house is also divided by rectangular or polygonal avant-corps with flat roofs used as terraces. The author of the project minimised plastic decoration on the facades (lesene frames, moulded cornices); he initially placed a particular emphasis on alternating differently coloured Brizolit plaster in light grey, dark grey and white tones.

Jaroslav Šafránek intended to share his home with his parents and siblings, and for this reason there were three apartments designed – one on each floor. Because of this, the house doesn’t have a traditional villa layout with a central stairway hall. It is designed as a cross-three tract with the staircase located in the corner of the building (from the exterior the staircase is evident thanks to a narrow longitudinal window on the side facade) from which the individual apartments are entered through a small hallway. Despite this interior arrangement, the building retains the appearance of a grand villa from the outside.
In the basement, Jaroslav Šafránek also set up three research laboratories and a darkroom for further scientific experiments.

The villa, which is currently undergoing renovation of its facades, is currently inhabited by relatives of the builder.

 


 

Investor

Jaroslav Šafránek

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
  • Martin Polívka, Televizi znají všichni. Málokdo ale ví, že její spolutvůrce byl Plzeňák, Univerzita Karlova, https://cuni.cz/UK-5810.html?event=4836&lang=CZ, vyhledáno 21. 9. 2015.
  • Martin Polívka, Zapomenutý génius. [...], iDNES.cz, http://plzen.idnes.cz/zapomenuty-genius-prvni-ceskou-televizi-sestrojil-pred-75-let-plzenan-jaroslav-safranek-gbc-/plzen-zpravy.aspx?c=A101004_185820_plzen-zpravy_pp, vyhledáno 21. 9. 2015.
  • Jan Hučka, Profesor Jaroslav Šafránek a počátky televize u nás, Plzeňský deník, http://plzensky.denik.cz/zpravy_region/profesor-jaroslav-safranek-a-pocatky-televize-u-nas-20141202.html, vyhledáno 24. 9. 2015.
 
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