House of Jarmila and Josef Krauz

Mánesova 1746/78 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
Public transport: Náměstí Míru (TRAM 4)
Náměstí Míru (BUS 29)
GPS: 49.7320706N, 13.3683689E

Villa no. 78 on Mánesova Street is one of the houses realised in the garden residential area of Bezovka during its heyday in the 1920s. The project of the villa of Josef Krauz and his wife Jarmila is dated February 1926. The construction was carried out by the construction company of František Jenč, Hladeček and Kroft between April and November of that year. However, due to the damp room for the caretaker being located in the basement of the house (the owners decided not to insulate the underground masonry with the prescribed retention wall, but to only use a drainage system) this area was not declared fit for occupancy until January 1930. In the same year, a garage was built in the garden under the supervision of the site manager Václav Švajer.

The interior layout of the villa was rather unconventional. The basement was designed on two levels – the lower one with the caretaker's apartment, the upper one with food and vegetable storage, a laundry and fuel depot. The basement also contained a small room accessible from the garden and labelled in the plan as a dog’s room. The slightly elevated ground floor was accessible via an external staircase, which was followed by a vestibule and further by a hall with a staircase in the shape of the letter U. This floor also contained dining and living rooms adjacent to the kitchen, adjoined by a closet and pantry. From the living room a semi-circular covered "loggia" could be entered leading further out into the garden along a decorative staircase. The private rooms of the family were situated on the first floor of the house – the parents’ bedroom with an en suite bathroom, a children's bedroom with a terrace on the roof of the "loggia" and the owner’s room. A smaller staircase led upstairs to the guest room, maid's room and attic.

Common decorative elements include Brizolit ingrained plaster and white cement-lime unplastered bricks, among them non-traditional ones in the roofing of the dormers in the attic – hipped roofs with a concave shape. In the plans, the hipped roofing is completed by little onions evoking the shape of a circus tent. The original drawings of the house also involved a plan for tree planting and the fitting of a wooden trellage on the south-western facade.

Since its inception, the building has only been affected by maintenance and modernisation alterations (repairs and the not-entirely-fortunate replacement of the roofing, the introduction of gas central heating, etc.). With the exception of these interventions, the Kraus villa has been preserved in its original appearance until today.



Jarmila and Josef Krauz


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