Apartment building of the Trade-Civic Building and Housing Cooperative for Pilsen and Surrounding Areas
1922–1923

Jablonského 898/16, Sladkovského 898/27 (Plzeň) Plzeň Východní Předměstí
Public transport: U Duhy (TRAM 2)
GPS: 49.7389061N, 13.3904814E
Architect:

In the interwar period, the highly productive Trade-Civic Building and Housing Cooperative for Pilsen and Surrounds not only realized a great many houses for families, but a number of apartment houses as well. Almost all of the Cooperative’s projects were prepared by the construction company of the brothers Josef and Václav Pašek (the latter being the chairman of the Cooperative). The buildings are marked by a specific style reflecting the influence of several architectural schools – mainly those of modern Classicism, Decorativism and the similar National Style, but also geometric Modernism and the Art Deco movement.

An illustrative example of the Cooperative's production in the first half of the 1920s is the four-storey apartment building on the corner of Jablonského and Sladkovského streets, designed in 1922 by the Pašek brothers – probably by Václav Pašek. He composed its front, which faces Jablonského street, asymmetrically while situating its dominant segment with entrance and three window axes on the right side of the facade. He emphasized it with a triangular gable with two small circular windows, subtle relief ornaments of an almost Art Nouveau character. He decorated the ground floor at the front door, and with his rendering of the area surrounding the three windows on the second floor, he topped it off with a unifying cornice. The windows are flanked here by vertical strips of bare brick and the areas below the window sills are interspersed with recessing horizontal bands. On the contrary, the lintel is embellished with a delicate decor in circular “hoops”. The composition of this part of the front facade is completed with two fluted pilasters with Ionic capitals.

It was the softly modelled classicizing pilasters, along with the rows and surfaces of smaller relief rings that line most of the building's windows except those on the ground floor that gave both street facades their distinctive appearance. In addition, the builder fitted the smooth plaster between the first and second floors with diamond-shaped medallions in each window axis. The corner was emphasized only by a very short corner cornice at the level of the window sills of the third floor.

The apartment building housed three spacious two-bedroom apartments on each of the four above-ground floors; the kitchen was complemented with a single room in only one of the ground floor apartments. The thirteenth apartment – probably for a caretaker – was situated in the attic together with storage units. The apartments had a traditional layout with walk-through living rooms facing the street and the utility rooms facing the courtyard. Václav Pašek also placed the staircase with an arm supported by a pair of columns and protruding from the body of the house as an avant-corps in the courtyard wing. The good area-standard of the flats was matched with that of sanitary facilities with a private bathroom and separate toilet. The basement housed the usual cellars and two laundries.

The cooperative house has not experienced significant structural changes during nearly a century of its existence and, fortunately, its valuable decorative facade has been preserved in almost authentic condition to this day.


AW – PK

Investor

Trade-Civic Building and Housing Cooperative for Pilsen and Surrounds

Sources

  • Technical Department of the Municipality of the City of Pilsen, Building-Administration Department, Building Archives
 
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