Bedřich Bendelmayer

Date of birth: 8. 4. 1872 Praha

Death date: 20. 4. 1932 Praha


One of the pioneers of Prague Art Nouveau, Bedřich Bendelmayer was born in Prague on the 8th April 1872. He studied architecture under Friedrich Ohmann at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, whose studio he also worked in for a short time after his studies. In his architecture practice, Bendelmayer often collaborated with his former fellow students – with Rudolf Němec at first, later on with Alois Dryák, with whom he they had a joint design studio, and also with Emil Weichert, with whom he took part in several competitions. He succeeded Dryák in the position of the main engineer of Quido Bělský’s construction company until being dismissed after a dispute with the director. He took part in a great number of both national and international architecture competitions (including for the building of Měšťanská beseda in Pilsen), and was a member of the Prague Union of Creative Artists. 

Bendelmayer’s first projects were still influenced by Historicism, most of all by Neo-Renaissance (the apartment buildings U České královny in Hradec Králové and U Sv. Jiří in Prague-Holešovice, designed in joint collaboration with Rudolf Němec). After Friedrich Ohmann left for Vienna in 1899, Bendelmayer, together with Alois Dryák, took part in finishing Ohmann’s project of Hotel Central in Prague New Town, which is considered the second Art Nouveau building in Prague. Subsequently, Bendelmayer shifted towards Wagnerian Art Nouveau, which his designs reflected until the beginning of WWI. Among his most important realisations of that time are the facade of Arcivévoda Štěpán Hotel on Wenceslas Square, Prague from the year 1903 (now Grand Hotel Evropa), the apartment building with shops and studios U Prašné brány no. 1078 and 1079/I (which he worked on together with Emil Weichert in the years 1903–1904), Hvězda Palace on Wenceslas Square in Prague from the years 1911–1913, and a reconstruction of the Savings Bank of the Royal City of Pilsen from 1915. During this creative stage, which included the design of the Pilsen Municipal Spa from 1914, Bendelmayer also designed many apartment houses in Prague.

In the 1920s, he received several commissions for public buildings, in particular for banks and courthouses, and his style moved towards monumentalising Neo–Classicism. Probably the best-known buildings from this period are the Palace of Justice in Prague-Pankrác – the largest courthouse of its time in the country, and the former Czech Industrial Bank – at the time the most modern bank in Prague. 

Bedřich Bendelmayer died in Prague on the 20th April 1932.


Selection of other works

Apartment house no. 675 U Sv. Jiří / Belvedere on Kamenická Street, Prague-Holešovice (together with Rudolf Němec)

Design of Měšťanská beseda in Pilsen (3rd place in competition, not realised)

Apartment house no. 310 U České královny at Eliščino nábřeží in Hradec Králové (together with Rudolf Němec)

Hotel Central in Hybernská Street, Prague (project by Friedrich Ohmann, collaboration Alois Dryák)

Facade of Arcivévoda Štěpán Hotel in St. Wenceslas Square, Prague (together with Quido Bělský, Bohumil Hübschmann, Jan Letzl and Alois Dryák; nowadays Grand Hotel Evropa)

Apartment building with shops no. 1078 a 1079/I on the corner of U Prašné brány and Celetná Streets in Prague (together with Emil Weichert)

Apartment building no. 203 U první reduty on the corner of Břehová and Pařížská Streets in Prague (together with Karel Manda)

Design of a new shooting range of the city guard house in Pilsen (1st place in competition; together with Emil Weichert; not realised)

Apartment building with shops no. 390 on Anglická Street, Prague-Vinohrady

Hvězda Palace on Wenceslas Square in Prague (later the headquarters of the Melantrich Publishing House) 

Josef Kainar Grammar school in Hlučín

Family house no. 606 on Bubenečská Street, Prague-Bubeneč

City Hall in Osijek (Croatia)

Regional Court in Klatovy (now a District Court)

Regional Court in Chrudim (now a District Court)
Palace of the Continental Insurance Company on Spálená Street, Prague

Design of the Prague Commodities and Stock Exchange (2nd place in competition; not realised)
Design of a bridge across the Nusle Valley, Prague (prize in competition; not realised)

Czech Industrial Bank no. 854 on Na Příkopě Street, Prague (1st design as early as 1920)

Palace of Justice in Prague-Pankrác (design 1926; now the Supreme Court and Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office)

Design of Živnostenská banka Na Příkopech in Prague (not realised)