Pair of apartment houses of Antonín Kurel

Politických vězňů 1986, 1985 / 30, 28 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
Public transport: Dvořákova (TRAM 4)
GPS: 49.7276675N, 13.3704261E

The terraced duplex apartment building at nos. 28 and 30 on Žitná Street (now Politických Vězňů) was constructed by the Pilsen builder Antonín Kurel between 1931 and 1932. The two-storey building with mirror-inverted sections and elevated ground floor attracts attention with its unusually conceived perimeter cladding. While up to the level of the ground floor ceilings the facade is dominated by a compact surface of bare brickwork, on the first floor it is composed of smooth Brizolit plaster. This purist arrangement of the front facade, which is vaulted at the entry points and broken up by a pair of loggias with full round railings on the first floor, reveals the architect's effort to build on the trends of the time in architecture, especially Dutch Neo-Plasticism.

The author of the design might have been Antonín Kurel himself, who liked to apply the contrasting motif of exposed brick surfaces and smooth plasters on the facades of his buildings. However, it is possible (and perhaps even more likely) that the design was the work of the lesser-known Pilsen architect and builder František Měsíček, as suggested by it having the same drawing style in the project documentation as in the apartment building he designed for the Štrunc family (C6–1973). The formal affinity with this house becomes quite obvious when comparing the courtyard facades of both buildings. The relief arrangement of both claddings is almost identical – the windows on individual floors are connected with the slightly protruding horizontal plaster band, the small dormer windows and the bordering of the ground floor windows and door.

The layout of the semi-detached house corresponded to the period's standard of living. Each floor of both sections contained one apartment with a large room in the street tract, a smaller residential room and a kitchen in the courtyard section, and a hallway and sanitary facilities in the centre of the disposition. Besides cellars and a laundry, a studio apartment facing the street was also located in the basement, while the attic was non-residential.

It is gratifying that the duplex has retained its authentic form from the early 1930s until today. The preserved original features include, among other things, the unusual low gate separating the sheltered porch before entering the house from the street.




Antonín Kurel


  • Archiv Odboru stavebně správního, Technický úřad Magistrátu města Plzně