Štěpánka and Josef Vogel’s apartment
1928–1930

Klatovská třída 455/12 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
Public transport: U Práce (TRAM 4)
U Práce (BUS 27, 35, 57, TROL 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19)
GPS: 49.7437708N, 13.3719431E
Architect:
Klatovská třída 455/12 (foto 01), author: Petr Jehlík, 2015 Klatovská třída 455/12 (foto 02), author: Petr Jehlík, 2015 Klatovská třída 455/12 (foto 03), author: Petr Jehlík, 2014 Klatovská třída 455/12 (foto 04), author: Petr Jehlík, 2014 Klatovská třída 455/12 (foto 05), author: Petr Jehlík, 2014 Klatovská třída 455/12 (foto 06), author: Petr Jehlík, 2014 Klatovská třída 455/12 (foto 07), author: Petr Jehlík, 2014 Klatovská třída 455/12 (foto 08), author: Petr Jehlík, 2014 Klatovská třída 455/12 (foto 09), author: Petr Jehlík, 2014 Klatovská třída 455/12 (foto 10), author: Petr Jehlík, 2014 Klatovská třída 455/12 (foto 11), author: Petr Jehlík, 2014 Byt Otta a Olgy Beckových, 1927, Source: Západočeská galerie v Plzni Byt Josefa a Štěpánky Voglových, 1930, Source: Západočeská galerie v Plzni Klatovská třída 455/12, author: Jan Gryc, 1983, Source: Národní památkový ústav, ú. o. p. v Plzni Klatovská třída 455/12, author: Jan Gryc, 1983, Source: Národní památkový ústav, ú. o. p. v Plzni Klatovská třída 455/12, author: Radovan Kodera, 1998, Source: Národní památkový ústav, ú. o. p. v Plzni Klatovská třída 455/12, author: Radovan Kodera, 1997, Source: Národní památkový ústav, ú. o. p. v Plzni Klatovská třída 455/12, author: Radovan Kodera, 1997, Source: Národní památkový ústav, ú. o. p. v Plzni Klatovská třída 455/12 (pohled), Source: Technický úřad MMP, Odbor stavebně správní – Stavební archiv Klatovská třída 455/12 (půdorys přízemí 1926), Source: Technický úřad MMP, Odbor stavebně správní – Stavební archiv Klatovská třída 455/12 (půdorys I. patra 1926), Source: Technický úřad MMP, Odbor stavebně správní – Stavební archiv Klatovská třída 455/12 (půdorys II. patra 1926), Source: Technický úřad MMP, Odbor stavebně správní – Stavební archiv Klatovská třída 455/12 (půdorys III. patra 1926), Source: Technický úřad MMP, Odbor stavebně správní – Stavební archiv Klatovská třída 455/12 (krov 1926), Source: Technický úřad MMP, Odbor stavebně správní – Stavební archiv Klatovská třída 455/12 (řez 1926), Source: Technický úřad MMP, Odbor stavebně správní – Stavební archiv Klatovská třída 455/12 (pohled 1926), Source: Technický úřad MMP, Odbor stavebně správní – Stavební archiv Klatovská třída 455/12 (adaptace II. patra 1929), Source: Technický úřad MMP, Odbor stavebně správní – Stavební archiv Klatovská třída 455/12 (adaptace 1934), Source: Technický úřad MMP, Odbor stavebně správní – Stavební archiv Klatovská třída 455/12 (pohled 1934), Source: Technický úřad MMP, Odbor stavebně správní – Stavební archiv

In the late 19th century, Ferdinand Avenue, today called Klatovská, became the main Pilsen boulevard and home to many important entrepreneurs. Their ranks were joined in 1903 by the Friedler family, who bought the house at No. 12, which had been erected in the 1870s. Four years later, the Friedlers rented out the whole of the second floor to Otto Beck and his wife Olga. Beck, like his cousin and business partner Wilhelm Hirsch, was attracted by the radically modern thinking of Adolf Loos and in the same year, therefore, he commissioned the celebrated architect to redesign his new flat. Loos’ plans for three rooms (bedroom, dining room and living room) and the bathroom were implemented in 1910. The clients were so satisfied with the outcome that when the Friedlers’ daughter Štěpánka (Steffi) and her husband, Josef Vogel, a paediatrician, wanted to take over their apartment 17 years later, the Becks decided to have the whole interior moved to their new flat (in the contractor Müller’s house at No. 2 Náměstí Míru).

Loos’ luxurious, comfortable interior also impressed the newlywed Vogels, and so in 1928 the architect returned again to the Klatovská flat, this time with a commission not only to renovate the living space, but also to furnish the doctor’s surgery. Loos made partial use of the original floor plan – alongside the room and bathroom facing the quieter inner courtyard, he designed a bedroom with cherry-wood furniture and dark-green wallpaper and converted the room facing the street into a children’s bedroom, furnished with two beds, a floral-pattern couch, built-in furniture and wood panelling in black, green and yellow. He again situated the living room in the centre of the street-side section and connected it to a new dining room on the opposite side to the original one, which was now the surgery.  

The leitmotif of the furnishings of these representative rooms was axial symmetry emphasised by mirror-panelled surfaces set opposite each other: above the fireplace in the living room and above the bar counter in the dining room. Loos also set the dining table with wicker chairs on the same axis. Alongside the bar counter, the dining room contained a built-in symmetrical alcove of travertine, which Loos also employed as an effective cladding on the walls. He had the adjacent living room panelled in walnut with a prominent grain, contrasting with green wallpaper. Most of the furniture consists of seating of various shapes and sizes designed by Loos. The room is dominated by the aforementioned brick fireplace set between a pair of marble pilasters. The architect thus combined in an original way motifs of  English villa architecture with classical features and principles inspired by Antiquity.

The modifications to the spaces were completed in 1930. Nine years later, the Vogel family escaped the Nazi threat by emigrating to Canada. Their house was confiscated and used by the Reichsarbeitsamt (Reich employment office). After the war, the family recovered part of the house, but the largest part remained in state ownership. In 1969, the building became the offices of a state housing enterprise and was radically modified for its needs. The representative part of the Vogels’ interior, however, which had been adapted for use as the offices of the directorate, was listed as a cultural monument due to the efforts of the art historian Věra Běhalová. Thanks to this, the built-in furnishings of the living and dining rooms have been preserved to the present day. The free-standing furniture, on the contrary, did not survive the events of the war years or the subsequent decades and therefore replicas were gradually made during the course of renovation of the interior since 2004 by the workshop of Vladimír Bok according to designs by Václav Girsa based on originals owned by the Brummel family and photographs from the Loos archives. In April 2014, both rooms that are now owned by the City of Pilsen were definitively restored to their original appearance at the end of the 1920s and the impressive interior was opened to the public. 


LV

Investor

Štěpánka and Josef Vogel

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
 
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