House of Marie and Ladislav Fiala
1932–1933

Čermákova 2021/19 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
Public transport: Čermákova (BUS 29)
Náměstí Míru (TRAM 4)
GPS: 49.7330019N, 13.3634819E
Architect:

This discreet Modernist house with a flat roof fills a large part of the plot on which it is located. Based on his own design, the Pilsen builder Ladislav Fiala (the author of alterations to Bendelmayer’s project of the City Baths among other things – see C1–1217) had it constructed for himself and his wife Marie in the years 1932–1933. He conceived it from the very beginning as high-end housing with two separate apartments.

The necessary service rooms of the house were located in the basement, only partly below ground level. There was also a laundry room, drying room, boiler room, coal storage and other technical rooms. At the same time, a one-room apartment was located there (probably for the caretaker) with a bathroom, toilet and pantry. An essential part of the basement layout was a garage facing the street and with its entrance adjacent to the main entrance to the house. Ladislav Fiala designed two identical apartments with a fairly articulated disposition for the above-ground floors of the house. Each apartment had a main living room with a corner veranda incorporated in the cubic mass of the house, a room, a bedroom with dressing room and bathroom and, of course, a kitchen, adjacent to a smaller room which was probably occupied by the maid. A pantry, toilet and another porch were accessible from the hall.

A change in ownership brought about alterations to the house’s layout, as the apartments had to be used by more occupants than originally intended. Additionally, the basement apartment was found to have failed to meet health and hygiene standards in 1975. In 1976, a project was drawn up to divide the two large apartments into two smaller units. The author of the draft was Emil Ondráček. The original layout of the rooms was preserved through the reconstruction, only a second kitchen and sanitary facilities were inserted in the layout. The interconnection between dressing room and bathroom was observed as well. The existing glazing of large openings in the corner porch was replaced by windows with tilt wings, turning the porch into another room of the apartment.

Ladislav Fiala imprinted the house with austere Functionalist forms. Smooth, light grey facades are structured by a grid of window openings emphasised by simple ledges. The geometric shapes of the house are accentuated by three smaller balconies protruding from the front facade – one with full brick railing on the entrance facade, two with characteristic steel rod railing on the eastern facade. The facades are completed by the distinctively protruding plating of the attics.

Although the interior layout of the house has been affected by several changes over the years, the exterior of the house has almost entirely retained its original form. If a reconstruction is to take place, a sensitive approach will be required, preserving the original character of the building and architectural intent of the author and the first user of the house.

 

LR

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
 
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