Cubism & Art Deco in Prague

Part Three: Art Deco (1920-1931)

 

23. State Railway Directorate Building

Vojtěch Krch & Gustav Kulhavý, 1920-1922
Křižíkova 552/2, Prague 8 – New Town

This early Art Deco building, located next to the Florenc Central Bus Station, was the work of the architects who designed several train stations in post-war Czechoslovakia.

state railway directorate

 

24. Hořovský Villa

Na Lysinách 48/2, Prague 4 – Hodkovičky
Pavel Janák, 1921-1922

This villa, thoroughly modified after World War I, shows the return of ornament to the façades after the years of purist Cubism. It is considered to be one of the most original Rondocubist villas. It is located in the Hodkovičky district, far from the city centre.

rondocubist villa

rondocubist villa 2

rondocubist villa 3

rondocubist villa 4

 

25. Myšák Building

Vodičkova 710/31, Prague 1 – New Town
Josef Čapek, 1922

This building has many colourful attached details on its façade, heralding a new era in the architecture of Prague. It hosts one of the most famous pastry shops in the city.

mysak building

 

26. Czechoslovak Legio Bank Building / Archa Palace

Na poříčí 1046/24, Prague 1 – New Town
Josef Gočár, 1920-1923

This is a major example of the Czech Rondocubist architecture, built as a depository for soldiers that had fought in World War I. It has a white marble frieze designed by Otto Gutfreund, depicting the epic march across Siberia of the Czechoslovak Legion and their embroilment in the Russian revolutions, set into the smoky-red moulding of the façade. The main banking hall has a curved glass roof and a distinctive red-and-white marble patterning.

legiobank 1

legiobank 2

 

27. Apartment building on Růžová 947/8-10

Bohumír Kozák, 1922-1923

This building has a number of interesting details, such as the mouldings above the portals, the corbels, balustrades and sculptures of the central balcony, and the ornaments between the semi-columns and windows of the façade.

Ruzova 947 8 10 1

Ruzova 947 8 10 2

 

28. Bank of Brno

Jindřišská 1308/15, Prague 1 – New Town
Josef Gočár, 1922-1923

This Art Deco building has rhythmic façades achieved largely by strong colour contrasts. All the details are geometric, except for the relief flanking the corner entrance.

bank of brno

bank of brno 2

 

29. Apartment building of the Teachers’ Cooperative on Kamenická 811/35

Otakar Novotný, 1923-1924

This structure, located in Holešovice, is another apartment building designed by Novotný for the Teachers’ Cooperative. While in most other Rondocubist buildings round and cylindrical shapes are attached to the flat surface as decorative elements, here they are part of the plastic organisation of the façade.

teachers house on kamenicka

 

30. Čapek Villa

Bratří Čapků 1853/28 & 1854/30, Prague 2 – Vinohrady
Ladislav Machoň, 1923-1924

This semi-detached villa, owned by brothers Karel and Josef Čapek, has some Rondocubist details, such as the semicircular pediment on some of its windows.

capek villa 1

capek villa 2

 

31. Radio Palace

Vinohradská 1789/40, Prague 2 – Vinohrady
Alois Dryák, 1922-1925

The Radio Palace was designed as a multifunctional socio-cultural building. It has many interesting details and is probably the most remarkable Rondocubist structure in Vinohrady.

radio palace 1

radio palace 2

radio palace 3

radio palace 4

radio palace 5

radio palace 6

 

32. Former Telephone & Telegraph Central Office

Fibichova 1500/19-21, Prague 3 – Žižkov
Bohumír Kozák, 1921-1926

This massive structure next to the Žižkov Television Tower has dominant corner towers, Art Deco window frames and portals decorated with sculptures by Ladislav Kofránek.

telephone telegraph building

telephone telegraph building 2

telephone telegraph building 3

telephone telegraph building 4

 

33. Adria Palace

Jungmannova 36/31, Prague 1 – New Town
Pavel Janák & Josef Zasche, 1922-1926

The gigantic Adria Palace is another prime example of Czech Rondocubism. Built for the Italian insurance company Riunione Adriatica di Sicurtà, it has been described as an imitation of a Renaissance palazzo (note the alternation of angles and semi-circles).

adria palace 1

adria palace 2

adria palace 3

adria palace 4

It has an open foyer with an elaborate 24-hour clock surrounded by bronze statuettes, representing the signs of the zodiac.

adria palace 5

 

34. Rondocubist kiosk in the Vrchlický Garden

Bolzanova, Prague 1 – New Town
Pavel Janák (?), 1920s

The kiosk located at the northern end of the Vrchlický Garden is the only surviving Rondocubist kiosk in Prague. Its author is not known, but its design is similar to numerous sketches and blueprints created by Pavel Janák in the 1920s. It has also been compared to the wooden houses designed by Josef Gočár in Kbely.

rondocubist kiosk

 

35. Palace Akropolis

Kubelíkova 1548/27, Prague 3 – Žižkov
Rudolf Václav Svoboda, 1927-1928

This colourful Art Deco building originally housed a theatre, a café and upscale apartments. Today it acts a major cultural centre in Žižkov and is known for rock concerts.

palace akropolis 1

palace akropolis 3

palace akropolis 2

 

36. Škoda Palace

Jungmannova 35/29, Prague 1 – New Town
Pavel Janák, 1926-1929

This huge Art Deco building was constructed for the Škoda company. Its architect was Pavel Janák, who had also designed the adjacent Adria Palace. Its attic gable originally showed a logo of the company, depicting the winged arrow.

skoda palace 1

skoda palace 2

 

37. Faculty of Law of the Charles University

Náměstí Curieových 901/7, Prague 1 – Old Town
Jan Kotěra (plan) & Ladislav Machoň (execution), 1924-1931

The original plan of this building was drafted by Jan Kotěra – the father of modern Czech architecture. The construction, however, was significantly delayed, and it was carried out only after Kotěra’s death in 1923. Hints of Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau, Cubism, and Art Deco can be perceived on the façades. The Art Deco interior is the work of Ladislav Machoň.

prague law faculty 1

prague law faculty 2