Anna Kodymová’s house

Mánesova 2150/81 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
Public transport: Náměstí Míru (TRAM 4)
GPS: 49.7326489N, 13.3684578E

The corner house no. 81 on a bend of Mánesova Street is one of the distinct manifestations of Emotional Functionalism in Pilsen. It was realised in the years 1936–1937 according to the design of the progressive Pilsen architect Václav Klein, then employed in the office of the Pilsen Building Authority. Klein, among others the author of the apartment building project of the Hus People's University with a movie theatre (C1–102) also designed the elementary and secondary boys' school on Čapek Square in Pilsen in the second half of the 1930s, devised in keeping with the principles of Scientific Functionalism.

By contrast, in the design of the house for Anna Kodymová, Václav Klein embraced the aforementioned emotional branch of Functionalism, characterised by the application of curves, circular nautical windows and other elements borrowed mostly from ship architecture (for example the balcony railings of Anna Kodymová’s house are reminiscent of the railings of ocean liners). Klein’s design of the house layout and the adjacent garden was inspired by the "corner" position of the building, all situated in a one-eighth segment of a circle. The architect reflected the soft, rounded shape in the volume of the building as well and into the niche with the main entrance, located on the axis of the symmetrical main facade. The large two-storey bay extending over a great part of the facade and broken by rectangular windows also mimics a curve. The bay, the edges of which are accentuated by subtle ceramic lining is crowned with a loft extension with retracted extremities, whose area serves as a terrace. The mass of the extension accentuates the exposed location of the house. Conversely, the bottom side of the street facade is visually lightened by the dark surface of ceramic cladding reaching up to the window ledge on the first floor. The dominant feature of the garden facade, which is articulated by balconies, is the staircase tube protruding out into the area of the courtyard.

The layout of the house shows the architect's desire for an economical solution. The basement with its floor only half a meter below the ground level was utilised to the utmost – the northern part of the house facing Hruškova Street housed the garage and cellar and service areas, while a one-room basement flat with a kitchen looked west (ionto Mánesova Street). In the courtyard tract the flat was followed by a shared laundry. The identically designed elevated ground floor and first floor contained two two-room apartments each, whose living rooms are oriented towards the street, while the service balconies face the courtyard. The only exception is the bathroom of one of the apartments, located directly in the segmented corner (which is why the facade lacks a greater extent of glazing in this section). The attic contains a two-room apartment.

The house, asserting itself strongly in the area known as Malá Hvězda (Small Star), has retained its original appearance including details until the present.




Anna Kodymová


  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně