Bohumila Měšťánková’s apartment building
1935

Radobyčická 2099/20 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.7382408N, 13.3771317E

In the 1930s, several new streets – Přeštická, Lukavická, Tělocvičná and Radobyčická – were laid out on the site of an earlier settlement near the railroad tracks leading from Pilsen to Klatovy and Domažlice as well as to Cheb. Thus, the ethos of the inter-war modernisation and development of what was until then a peripheral area broke through a symbolic and real barrier in the city. The newly conceived north-western corner of the Doudlevce district became home to many small businesses which had smaller apartment houses built there. The authors of the works were usually Pilsen architects and builders; they developed elements of Functionalism, fully domesticated in this country by that time, in various manners in their designs.

This modern style was also endorsed by the project of the four-storey apartment building on the street Radobyčická, which the Prague architect Tomáš Keclík was commissioned to design by Bohumila Měšťánková in 1935. However, according to the allotment conditions only the construction of three-storey houses was envisaged in this area in the future. If a client wanted to be granted an exception, the designs had to be submitted to a special committee to assess whether the building would be appropriate within the context of the surrounding buildings. Thus, the Pilsen branch of Keclík’s design studio conceived the layout of the main facade of the new building, visually dominating the end of the perpendicular Čelakovského Street with regard to the austere façades of the planned neighbouring terrace houses from the very beginning. The smooth purist facade with a traditional hipped roof with four semi-circular bays is only enhanced by a slightly protruding avant-corps with a metal flagpole mounted on the first floor. A grid of rectangular windows with simple relief bands adds rhythm to the symmetrically arranged front facade; however, there are vertical and horizontal bands of original azure-green ceramic tiling that attract attention covering a large part of the risalit and the spaces between the windows on the top floor.

The layout of the house adheres to conventions – the author of the project placed a laundry and cellar in the basement, an office with a small apartment for the caretaker on the ground floor and a narrow passage into the yard on the right side with a set of six garages. This service building was then completed with a low extra storey with further office rooms in 1940. Tomáš Keclík designed a pair of spacious two-room flats with kitchen, bathroom, toilet and pantry for each of the remaining floors of this apartment house. While the rooms were facing Radobyčická Street, the kitchens with open porches were oriented towards the yard.

Even eighty years after its completion, the building retains a distinctive character, although this has been significantly harmed by the recent replacement of windows.

 

AK
 

Investor

Bohumila Měšťánková

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
 
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