Villa of Linda and Vladislav Šimáček

Mírová 2054/4 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
Public transport: Dobrovského (TRAM 4)
Dobrovského (BUS 22, TROL 16)
GPS: 49.7344733N, 13.3644544E

In the early 1930s, the Pilsen architect and builder Vladislav Šimáček built a house on Mírová Street, with a modern Functionalist conception and austere Purist facade that already had several counterparts in the garden district of Bezovka at that time. Few of them, however, can boast such a successful combination of architectural elements, designed under the influence of what was known as the Emotional movement in European Functionalism, as the villa of the Šimáček family.

The pioneers of this style, headed by the German architect Hans Scharoun, defined themselves in opposition to the strictly scientific and rational rules of Functionalism – not denying the artistic status of architecture, they applied curves, segmented shapes, portholes and other nautical themes in their buildings. These elements influenced by naval architecture and the natural world are clearly evident in the Šimáček villa as well. Perhaps the most distinct allusion to the symbolism of ocean liners is the semi-cylindrical staircase "tower" with a flagpole on the western garden facade, reminding one of a ship’s chimney, and the adjacent porch lined with typical pipe railing.

The refined mass solution of the flat-roofed building testifies to the artistic ambitions of its author, who suppressed any visual heaviness of the house by height gradation of volumes and the application of an entrance porch, balconies and terraces. He also devoted special attention to the size, articulation and colour of the windows (white wings are fitted into frames of red, the same colour combination also appearing on the railing). The shape and size of the window surfaces reveal the function of the rooms behind them and are the only "ornaments" of the facade.

If Vladislav Šimáček himself was the author of the building, it would have been one of the first architectural designs in the style of Emotional Functionalism that emerged from the drawing boards of Pilsen architects. All the more reason to be delighted by the fact that the Šimáček villa has been preserved with a number of original architectural details (the original red-and-white colours of windows, doors and railings, light grey paint of the facade etc.), and thus remains one of the best-preserved and highest-quality Functionalist buildings in the Bezovka villa neighbourhood.




Vladislav and Linda Šimáček