Ladislav Skřivánek

Date of birth: 21. 6. 1877 Čáslav

Death date: prosinec 1957 Praha


An unconventional architect, urbanist, painter and teacher, Ladislav Skřivánek was born in Čáslav on the 21st of July 1877. He was a graduate of the Technical University in Vienna, where he was also a student of Friedrich Ohmann at the Academy of Fine Arts. Subsequently, he attended a special seminar on the construction of towns and cities at the Technical University in Berlin–Charlottenburg and after his studies he settled in Vienna. In the years 1900–1902, he worked as an assistant at the Czech State Technical School in Pilsen and it was only around the year 1908 that he settled in Prague indefinitely. In 1912, he was appointed Professor of Descriptive Geometry at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, where he remained until 1938 (he also lectured on colours, ornament and construction), however he was not very popular with students due to his uncompromising nature and inability to accept new directions.

Skřivánek’s first designs, which he assiduously entered in competitions (in his creative career he was awarded 54 prizes, awards and acknowledgments), develop the principles and motifs of Neo-Renaissance, Art Nouveau Classicism and Biedermeier in a distinctive way. An example of his Neo-Renaissance work is the family house of a doctor in Hlinsko and an apartment house on Veleslavínova Street in Pilsen (here the architect also applied elements of North German Gothic). The Art Nouveau influence of Kotěra style is evident in the façade of General Hoppe’s house in Vysoké Mýto with a distinct sculpture decoration on the attic gable. In the period 1906–1914, Art Nouveau Neo-Classicism prevails in his work – as manifested in apartment houses in Prague–Dejvice, an apartment house in Prague–Hradčany and the building of the First Czechoslovak Technical School on Chodské Square in Pilsen (C3–1585). Schools in Uherské Hradiště and Sušice bear witness to the Biedermeier imprint on Skřivánek’s work. In the following years, he was once more strongly influenced by Czech Renaissance. His specific interpretation of this style can be seen as an attempt at creating a “purely national style” (i.e. a parallel to the style developed by Pavel Janák and Josef Gočár). Embossed plinths, facades covered in sgraffito decoration (often with patriotic images and inscriptions), robust crown mouldings, elevated attics and a pronounced axis main entrance are characteristic of Skřivánek’s buildings, mostly from the first half of the 1920s – as demonstrated by the General Pension Institute in Prague, schools in Krušovice, Piešťany, Klatovy and Duchcov, the National Bank in Banská Bystrica and the building of state authorities in Domažlice. The architect remained faithful to this distinctive style in the second half of the 1920s and in the 1930s as well, thus departing from the progressive trends in inter-war architecture.

Besides projects of public and private buildings, Skřivánek also worked on urban development and regulation plans for towns and suburbs – Velká Olomouc, Nová Paka, Domažlice, Sušice, Prague and Pilsen. He also designed monuments and tombstones, interiors and decorative art objects. As a skilful drawer, he created many patterns of new sgraffito paintings and of chiaroscuros for objects in Vysoké Mýto, Litomyšl and Brandýs nad Orlicí. He organised lectures and was an advisor and expert in his field. His views were published in expert journals, and on the occasion of working on the general urban development plan of Velká Olomouc he published his book On the Importance of an Urban Development Plan for Town Development in 1922.

Ladislav Skřivánek died in Prague in December 1957.



Selection of other works

Family house of a doctor in Hlinsko

The apartment house U Matky Boží at no. 10 Veleslavínova Street, Pilsen

The house of General Hoppe in Vysoké Mýto

The town hall and a council and elementary school in Opočno

Design of the Imperial and Royal Privileged Corps of City Sharp-Shooters in Pilsen (not realised)

Building of the Imperial and Royal Grammar School in Sušice

St. Prokop’s Chapel in Pec pod Čerchovem

Apartment house no. 5 Eliášova Street, Prague-Dejvice (together with Josef Paroulek)

Apartment house no. 24 U Písecké brány Street, Prague

Council and elementary school in Uherské Hradiště

The State Grammar School in Nová Paka

Apartment House no. 110 on the corner of Žatecká and Platnéřská Streets, Prague (together with J. Plečnik)
Project of restoration of Castle Lukavec

Jan Hus School in Krušovice

General Pension Institute on Podskalská Street, Prague

Council School in Piešťany

Villa of Dr. Šrot at no. 20 Třída Spojenců, Olomouc č. o. 20 v Olomouci

Building of state authorities, no. 228, Domažlice č. p. 228 v

Matula’s Villa in Hlinsko

T. G. Masaryk Elementary School, Sušice

Masaryk Elementary School, Klatovy

Czech Grammar School in Duchcov (first project as early as 1921)

National Bank of Czechoslovakia building in Banská Bystrica