Karel Hájek’s apartment building

Čechova 2302/16 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
Public transport: Nemocnice Bory (BUS 22, TROL 16)
Dobrovského (TRAM 4)
GPS: 49.7332897N, 13.3730036E

At the end of the 1930s, late Functionalism had become quite established in Pilsen and it still persevered in more crude forms in the early postwar years, especially in the time of the “two-year plan” for renewal and reconstruction. Two fundamental artistic approaches can be observed in Pilsen Functionalist architecture. While one worked with contrasting materials (as a rule smooth renders and variously coloured ceramic tiles), the other, on the contrary, employed only “Brizolit” cement-render facades divided by shallow projections of various heights and widths.

A typical example of the second, “purist” trend consists of the four-storey residential house at No. 16 Čechova Street. It was built in the difficult wartime years of 1939–1941 by the local engineer Karel Hájek’s building firm at its own cost and for its own use. The layout of the flats reacted to the contemporary housing crisis, consisting of only one room facing the street, modest hygienic facilities and a small kitchen with a balcony on the courtyard side of the house. On the same side is the staircase, illuminated by windows on the central axis of the courtyard facade. Due to this arrangement, the elevation of the street-side facade is not interrupted by the irregular, inter-storey placement of the staircase windows and is characterised by the calm, symmetrical layout of the individual architectural features and by an artistic combination of smooth and textured renders. The courtyard facade, on the contrary, is void of any ornament. While maintaining the harmonious layout of the facade, the arrangement of the mass on this side of the house is derived from the individual functions, as betrayed by the asymmetric volume of the loft superstructure, in which a laundry room was originally located.




Karel Hájek


  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně