House of Jiří Dolejš, with a restaurant and bar
1933

Hroznová 379/12, Chvojová 379/8 (Plzeň) Plzeň Doudlevce
GPS: 49.7212608, 13.3839869

In the early 1930s, in the expanding area of the Doudlevce neighbourhood near the railway station on the Pilsen – Železná Ruda line, restaurateur Jiří Dolejš decided to build a new restaurant furnished with a bar and indoor bowling alley and his own private apartment above it. He entrusted talented Pilsen architect and builder František Měsíček with both the project and its implementation.

Měsíček designed a modern building with a cellar, a restaurant on the ground floor, and an apartment on the first floor. The layout of the building derived from the street corner, where the architect situated the bar with a separate entrance from the street. One floor below the bar, a cellar needed for beer storage was constructed with a shaft for the delivery of barrels. Along Hroznová Street, a guest room with an entrance to toilets was placed next to the bar. The actual restaurant facilities, including a kitchen, were located along Chvojová Street. Between the kitchen and restaurant facilities for visitors, the architect inserted the body of the staircase leading to a two-room second-floor apartment with its own entrance and a door directly to the restaurant. This apartment was situated facing south-east. In the western part of the layout over part of the restaurant hall, he added a spacious sun deck lined with steel pipe railing. A small terrace, accessible from the kitchen, was situated in the north-east corner of the house. The space under the roof served as an attic. For financial reasons, the bowling alley at the northern edge of the plot was never realised.

In the basic mass solution and morphology of the building, František Měsíček managed to combine the traditional form of a private house with a single pitch roof with purely contemporary geometric elements drawing on Czech Expressionist architecture. Similarly to the Živnodům Cooperative building (C2–717), which he designed two years later, Měsíček decided to segment the façade with a series of lesene frames and chambranles. He showed particular imaginativeness in the wide windows illuminating the restaurant hall and bar, and he intersected the window itself with a sculptured chambranle protruding from the façade creating a transom light above the window for aeration (this element can be found on the façade of the Živnodům building as well). The protruding mass of the flat-roofed staircase tower was accentuated in both corners and the interior space was generously illuminated by glass surfaces from rectangular panes and a small nautical window. The expressive appearance of the building was reinforced by a high tented roof not exceeding the perimeter walls.

Within a few decades of its construction, the house with restaurant underwent only minor adjustments. In the early 1960s, the building’s existence came under threat when it was connected to the street sewerage system. The local development plan of the time envisaged the gradual demolition of all the buildings in this area and their replacement with public greenery. This plan, however, never materialised, and so the building survived in its almost original state until 2003, when it was adapted into a bed and breakfast. During a rather inconsiderate and radical reconstruction, the first floor was extended to include a sun deck and the house was raised to include an attic covered by a heavy gable roof with a heavy keel and outreach. In addition to the patios, the original pyramidal roof was also removed. Most of the original elements that divide the façade, however, were fortunately respected.


OM – PK

Investor

Jiří Dolejš

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
 
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