Houses of Bohumil Chvojka, the Middle Class Building and Apartment Cooperative, and Jaroslav Kostka and Karel Mastný
1928–1930

Majerova 1899, 1919, 1871, 1828 / 24, 22, 20, 18 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
Public transport: Dvořákova (TRAM 4)
Poliklinika Bory (BUS 29)
GPS: 49.7282306N, 13.3708525E

A significant Pilsen architect and professor at the Czech State Technical College, Bohumil Chvojka, was known especially for his projects of major public buildings in Pilsen (C1–1000, C1–1150, C3–1722 etc.). He designed four small terraced apartment and family houses on Majerova Street early in 1928, which, thanks to the related construction elements having a uniform height and rhythm, form a unified architectural ensemble. The construction was carried out in 1928–1930 by local builders and investors in two sections, Jaroslav Kostka and Karel Mastný, who probably also took part in the development of the projects of houses nos. 20–24. For Karel Mastný especially, collaboration with Chvojka was nothing unusual at the turn of the 1920s and 1930s; his undeniable creative ambitions are obvious, for example, in what is known as Krofta’s Housing Project (C9–75), which Mastný consulted on with Chvojka.

Chvojka and his family occupied the house at no. 18, whose formal concept influenced by Decorativism stands out in the complex. The architect fitted the two-storey two-wing building with a gabled roof, realised between June and December 1928, with a smooth but rather richly shaped facade with coloured plaster and artificial stone. The main entrance with double door is lined with a shallow plastic "portico", complete with a horizontal system of window cornices and sills and vertical pilaster strips. An oblong table window rises above the entrance, illuminating the staircase. The window surface originally formed a dominant feature of the asymmetrically conceived street front, as it was filled with decorative stained glass (which was unfortunately destroyed during air raids during World War II). In the project the architect also emphasised the segmentation of the side windows and their black-and-white colour combination.

The slightly elevated ground floor of Chvojka’s house had a social function. In the garden wing there was a large living room with a polygonal niche and a separate entrance to the garden; facing the street was the kitchen and other operational facilities. The first floor, on the contrary, had a private character – the architect situated the bedrooms of children and parents here as well as his own office; there was also the bathroom and a small balcony on the garden frontage. House no. 22, intended for one family, had a similarly generous disposition – in this case even with six residential rooms. Houses nos. 20 and 24, by contrast, contained three smaller apartments and a basement studio flat for the caretaker.

House no. 18 is currently owned by relatives of Bohumil Chvojka, who are approaching the gradual restoration of the building with respect to its original architectural solution. The other houses in the complex have also to a great extent retained their character.

 


 

Investor

Bohumil Chvojka (architect); Jaroslav Kostka and Karel Mastný (builders); Middle-Class Building and Housing Cooperative

Sources

  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně
 
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