Until February 1912, the plan had been for this corner building in Prague’s New Town to be redone in classic art-nouveau style by the established architect Friedrich Ohmann. However, between June and September of that year the brief was handed instead to Emil Králíček, chief designer at the construction firm of Matěj Blecha, a friend of the owner.
Králíček had learnt his trade in Darmstadt at the feet of Joseph Olbrich, a founder member of the Vienna Secession. In 1911 Králíček’s work began to embrace the harder geometry of late art-nouveau; and in this facade we can see the way in which line and shape are already moving towards the fully-fledged cubism of his later buildings such as the Hussite chapel in Žizkov.
Part of the building is now used as an additional gallery space by the Mánes Society of Prague Artists (Spolek výtvarných umělců Mánes), Although several other cubist architects were members of that institution in the first decade of the 20th century, Králíček was not among them.
Published by the Prague Vitruvius.
published: 10. 9. 2017