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Silent Šárka

Baba villa neighbourhood and its architects

Pavel Janák became the leading personality and chief architect of the villa neighbourhood. He had been a pioneer of Cubism in architecture, then he won fame as the founder of the so-called National style, which was grounded on the Cubist morphology: his renowned Pardubice crematorium was built in this style. However, Janák was capable of following the times (in the positive sense of the world) and understood that clinging on to domestic tradition would be an artist’s and professional’s su­icide. This resulted in his fluent transition to Functionalism, embodied in his Hotel Juliš in Wenceslas Square from the turn of the 1920s. He was particularly keen on the development of Baba neighbourhood because he wanted not only to design it, but live there. It was him that chose the 12 architects who designed the 33 houses. He gathered different architects in several generations. Famous and well-established designers of many existing buildings such as Josef Gočár and Pavel Janák were able to shake hands with František Zelenka, an excellent young set designer who worked for Voskovec and Werich, who was not yet thirty years old when Baba was built (he was tortured to death in Auschwitz in 1944). Hana Kučerová-Záveská was of similar age; the talented architect and feminist moved to Sweden in the late 1930s. Recognized architects in their thirties in the Baba period also included Evžen Linhart and Ladislav Žák. The middle generation included Jan Evangelista Koula and Ladislav Machoň. Only one foreigner was given a chance among the Czech architects: the Dutch Mart Stam, an architect belonging to the leading pioneers of Modernism, who arrived in Prague after working in Stuttgart’s We­issenhof.

This text was produced using information resources of http://www.jedinak.cz – an article by Petr Volf.

GPS position

N 50° 6.858', E 14° 23.095'



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