Habrmannovo náměstí / Habrmann Square

(Plzeň 4) Plzeň Doubravka
GPS: 49.757032, 13.419803

The initially small village of Doubravka spread around a village green located roughly in the place where Zábělská and Masarykova Streets cross. Irregular roads running from this central point became a model for today's streets. When looking at the plan of the district, the extent of the original village is still clearly recognisable. After being connected to so-called Greater Pilsen in 1924, the village was included in the urban planning of the City Building Authority, which was of major significance for its further urban development. The arrangement of the construction development was subject to a firm geometric order, resulting in a regular system of mutually perpendicular streets delimiting closed or semi-closed blocks.

Habrmann Square is located near the former village green on the borderline of the rural housing structure and the newly built orthogonal street network. It came into existence around the middle of the 1920s by omitting one housing block at the western edge of Masarykova Street. The shorter side of its rectangular ground plan is adjacent to Masarykova Avenue in the southeast and to Železničářská Street in the northwest; its longer side is a continuation of Sadová and Školní Streets perpendicular to Masarykova Avenue and in the north-east it forms a link between the streets of Poštovní and Na Kovárně, which follow the routes of the original historical roads.

In 1925 a public park was established here at the request of the local inhabitants. The designer was most likely Valentin Čoček, manager of urban parks and orchards at that time. In its original form, the park was enclosed by a low hedge and the central grass area was divided by two paths forming two concentric ovals. The outer path widened up in the corners of the area, creating pleasant nooks in the shade of deciduous trees. The decoration of the central section consisted of three flower beds complemented by a statue of a postilion, which was moved here from the central post office in Solní Street (C1–260) and rebuilt in 1925-1927.

With the exception of the Neo-Renaissance building of the elementary school, which was constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, the empty plots around the square were not built up until the end of the 1920s and the 1930s. Thus, the area made a rather incongruous impression for several years after the completion of the park, when the geometrically composed area with decorative shrubs and flowerbeds were largely surrounded by open fields and old farmhouses.

During the previous century there were several modifications and simplifications in the composition of space, but the overall concept of symmetrical arrangement was retained. It was mainly the surrounding area that changed. The number of inhabitants of the Doubravka neighbourhood continued to grow and, thanks to the proximity of the brewery and the railway track, a large number of workers settled here. In 1941 Doubravka and the city centre were connected by the first "A" trolleybus line, the route of which lead from the Municipal Spa and ended at Habrmann Square. A major reversal in the promising development of the suburb came on the night of the 16th to 17th of April 1945, when Doubravka fell victim to a devastating allied air raid with a death toll of more than 600 people. More than 120 homes were destroyed. After 1948, the square was renamed after Čeněk Ulrich, a local communist official executed by the Nazis. In the late 1950s, a decision was made to construct a Doubravka housing estate, which transformed the nearby area of ​​the square.

The original plan, designed in 1958 by architects Miloslav Sýkora, Vladimír Štrunc and Klement Štícha, aimed to rehabilitate a part of the area and complement the existing buildings with apartment houses. Later on, the authors overhauled the project and replaced the originally planned lower houses with tower panel houses, subsequently and irreversibly transforming the character of the neighbourhood. Part of the restored area also included the historical core of Doubravka along Zábělská and Masarykova Streets where a group of high-rise buildings were built.

The current appearance of the square is the result of revitalisation carried out in 2005 and 2006 according to the design of architect Jakub Chvojka. Compared to the original design of the 1920s, the park is more closed. It is surrounded by trees and shrubs on three sides, forming a protective barrier from the surrounding urban traffic. Masarykova Avenue, which runs along the fourth, southeast edge of the area, is elevated above the park level so that the noise of this relatively busy road does not have a significant influence on the ambience of the site. The centre of the area is dominated by the geometric sculpture “Drawing in Space - Fascination by Sphere” created by sculptor Václav Fiala. The artwork also serves as a popular children’s attraction.

In 2016 and 2017, the local city district administration had a new park pavilion constructed according to Jakub Chvojka's project. A small structure with a stage and an organically shaped roof is designed to enhance the comfort of performers and allow for more cultural events including theatre performances to take place there. The square has also been recently fitted with two lines of street lamps.


MR

Sources

  • Martina Koukalová, Doubravka, Paneláci.cz, http://www.panelaci.cz/sidliste/plzensky-kraj/plzen-doubravka, vyhledáno 18. 12.
  • Historie trolejbusové dopravy v Plzni, 1. část, Společnost pro veřejnou dopravu, http://spvd.cz/index.php/cyklodoprava/364-clanky/cz/plzen/vyvoj/1310-historie-trolejbusove-dopravy-v-plzni-1.-cast, vyhledáno 19. 12. 2017.
  • Miroslava Tolarová, V parku vznikne fazolkové pódium, denik.cz, https://plzensky.denik.cz/zpravy_region/v-parku-vznikne-fazolkove-podium-20150630.html, vyhledáno 22. 12. 2017.
 
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