Apartment building of the firm of Jiří Chodounský and Jaroslav Otta with a production building in the yard
1927 / 1939–1940

Klatovská třída 1784/188 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
Public transport: Borský park (TRAM 4)
Borský park (BUS 23, 30, 32)
GPS: 49.7272731N, 13.3666150E

In the second half of the 1920s, the building development of the city reached as far as the boundary of the Bory neighbourhood (part of the former “Imperial” and now Southern Suburb). It was at this time that Jiří Chodounský and Jaroslav Otto purchased the land at the western front of Klatovská Avenue to build an apartment house and business premises for their company Maltosia Original Plzeň, which produced malt extracts. In 1927, however, the area between Czech Legionaries Park (today Borský Park) and the park-like Beneš Square (today Náměstí Míru) was already regarded as a primarily residential district. Moreover, the fact that the Mulač Sanatorium (C6–1207V) was situated nearby the selected plot was yet another reason that the intention to establish and operate a malt manufacturing plant here met with the continuous opposition of neighbors and their complaints to local authorities. Nevertheless, the competent authorities granted Chodounský and Otto planning permission.

This allowed Pilsen builders František Kvasnička and Adolf Novotný to build a two-storey apartment house along the street in that year with a façade decorated in vertical ribs flanking the central window axis and including bent lesenes and rounded window chambranles. The selection and rendering of these motifs may perhaps be ascribed to the fading influence of the National style. In addition to attic space and the cellars and laundry room located in the basement, the house contained only two spacious apartments: a six-bedroom apartment upstairs, and a four-bedroom apartment downstairs – this was due to a passageway connecting the street with business premises in the yard.

The utilitarian malthouse building with a V-layout and mono-pitched roof was equipped with its own boiler room with a high chimney, which supplied hot water to the brewhouse and drying room. Other spaces served as a grinder, warehouse, small office and double garage. Initially, the company seems to have flourished, as in 1929 Maltosie’s owners applied for planning permission for a superstructure on the plant and a new freestanding boiler house connected to the existing chimney. Kvasnička and Novotný were again the authors of the project. However, the Great Depression may have contributed to the bankruptcy of the company and neither the superstructure nor the boiler house were realised. In an execution sale, the whole complex was handed over to the City of Vodňany Savings Bank, which had financed the construction of the complex. After this, all debts on fees were paid off and work was completed, allowing for the proper final inspection and approval of both buildings.

Pilsen builder František Doubek and his wife Božena, owners of nearby house no. 6 in Kaplířova Street, later acquired the house and courtyard establishment from the Savings Bank. In 1939 and 1940, the complex was significantly reconstructed by builder Václav Střebský. He added a second floor onto the house, including three apartments and a residential attic. The apartment on the first floor was divided into three smaller units. Most of the plant was removed and the chimney was pulled down. In the yard, 14 garages in two rows were built along both the northern and southern boundaries of the plot. The preserved part of the former plant was converted into a one-bedroom apartment; another apartment was located on the first floor and two more in the new part of the wing above the garages. Most of the flat roof surface served as a terrace.

Apart from the replacement of roughly half the wooden windows with unsuitably segmented plastic ones (the gate in the passage portal is also unlikely to be original), the street façade has been preserved in its authentic form. Further neglect of maintenance may lead to the building’s rapid degradation.


OM

Investor

Jiří Chodounský and Jaroslav Otto, Maltosia Original Plzeň / František and Božena Doubek

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
 
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