Náměstíčko v Divadelní ulici / Small square in Divadelní Street

(Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.74635N, 13.370928E

The small square on Divadelní Street is an intimate space whose immediate surroundings have undergone one of the most dramatic changes of all public spaces in the greater centre of Pilsen. Two different principles of urbanism intersected in the area of the square during its development – the medieval suburban structure met the strict geometry of block development, characteristic of the second half of the 19th century here, giving rise to an urban space that is not typical in the Pilsen context.

The small square is situated on a former road leading north-west from the present-day crossroads U Práce; it passed a break in the terrain in the area of the present buildings at the beginning of Husova Street and continued further on the path of the present Budilova and Tovární Streets, joining Skvrňanská Avenue in the area of present-day Palackého Square in front of Plaza shopping mall. This route copied the border of the former Skvrňany suburb, which was made up mostly of gardens and farmyards connected to them. During the first half of the 19th century, the way was built along for most of its length and interrupted at the mouth of Husova Street.

In the year 1860, the factory of Count Wallenstein was founded in the area of the present-day theatre storerooms (C2–330), which became the foundation of the later Škoda Works. In 1909, the machine-works moved away from the no-longer-adequate space and the complex was transformed into a workshop for theatrical scenery. Within this transformation, the premises were reduced and the present-day Poděbradova Street and Divadelní Street were straightened out up to the square, giving rise to a crossroads of three streets. The theatre storerooms burnt down in 1922 and were replaced by a new building by Hanuš Zápal the following year. A decade later, the building of Bohumil Panýrek’s company (C2–1511) arose on the west side of the square through reconstruction of the old building of the Škoda Works.

Possibly in connection with the construction of the modernist building of the Evangelical Methodist Church (C2–1777), Škodova Street (Kardinála Berana Street today) became directly connected with the then crossroads in the 1920s, and its further extension in the form of the newly-established Puškinova Street (this intention is already obvious in the city plan from the year 1912). Thus, with the adaptation to the new block method of building, a minor bend in a one-time suburban route became an intersection of five converging streets. 

A crucial transformation to the whole area was brought by development shortly after the year 1989. In a short period, two bank buildings were constructed on the south side of the square. In the year 1994, the postmodern building of the Czech Savings Bank was built here according to the design of Václav Ulč and Václav Šmolík from the AVE studio. In the years 1992–1995, the seat of the Czech National Bank was built in a similar style in place of former smaller buildings connected with the former bus station at the beginning of Husova Street. As part of this construction, carried out on the basis of Karel Salát’s design, the sloping northern part of Kardinála Berana Street that was intended for pedestrians and descended to the square from Husova Street was adjusted. The traffic roundabout comes from the same period. The segmented shape of the space was reasserted by the residential building Circle as well, completed in 2011, which filled up a vacant plot along the north side of the square. 


JČ – MK – PK

Sources

  • mapy.plzen.eu
  • Telefonický rozhovor s Ing. arch. Karlem Salátem, 17. 1. 2015
  • Georg Keller, Mědirytina, 285 x 363, fe. 1619, in: Plzeňské pohledy a veduty čtyř století, Jan Mergl
 
C0C1C2C3C4C5C6C7C8C9