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Famous villas of Bohemia and Moravia

photo:  (archiv Galerie hlavního města Prahy, foto Tomáš Souček)

There are countless famous villas and family houses originating from the studios of reputed architects throughout the Czech Republic, many of which are considered true architectonic pearls. Some of them are accessible to the public and definitely worth seeing.

Those opened to the public usually exhibit partly or completely preserved equipment and furniture. Visitors thus have a chance to see and enjoy every single detail of these unique buildings. The most intriguing of them include the following:

Bílek’s Villa in Prague

The Art Nouveau villa, a distinct two-storey building from 1911 located in Mickiewicova Street (map), was originally the residence and studio of its architect, also a graphic designer and sculptor, František Bílek. The building faced with red bricks and majestic columns is surrounded by a beautiful garden. It is segmentally bent and according to some experts, it has a scythe-shaped ground plan that reaps sheaves of rye, i.e. the columns of the building. Bílek saw the building as the representation of “life as a field of mature rye, providing nutrition for our brothers every day”. Bílek is the designer of the villa’s interior, including the furniture as well. The villa underwent a major reconstruction and was reopened to the public in 2010. Today, it is one of the exhibitions of the City Gallery Prague and serves as the museum of František Bílek.

Jurkovič Villa in Brno

The three-storey house situated in Jan Nečas Street in the Brno quarter of Žabovřesky (map) is one of the most significant monuments of Art Nouveau architecture in the city. It was built in 1906 and is spectacular in several aspects. Its design uniquely reflects the influences of central-European folk culture, principles of British modern style and Viennese Art Nouveau. The architect of both the villa and its interior is Dušan Samo Jurkovič, who designed and had the house built for his family.

The reconstructed villa and surrounding garden is now in the hands of the Moravian Gallery in Brno. It hosts a permanent exhibition called “Dušan Jurkovič. The Architect and his house”.

Bauer Villa in Libodřice

This unique cubist villa is the only example of its kind in the Czech countryside. The house is located in the village of Libodřice (map), near Kolín. It was built between 1912 and 1914 as the residence of the landowner Adolf Bauer. Its designer, Josef Gočár, is one of the major Czech architects of the 20th century. The villa’s most captivating features include the solution of connecting three multangular risalits on the south side or the cubistic decorative stellar window frames. From 2005 – 2007, the house was reconstructed and now serves as a museum and gallery of cubistic design.

Tugendhat Villa in Brno

The villa is one of the essential buildings of modern (functionalistic) architecture in the world and the masterpiece of the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who is considered one of the founders of modern architecture. The house located in Černopolní Street in Brno (map) was built on the request of Greta and Fritz Tugendhat. The villa was a revolutionary building in its time. The three-storey building looks as if it has only one storey because it blends with the terrain and the surrounding garden. The main residential rooms thus perfectly merge the interior with the surrounding nature.

In 2001, the Tugendhat Villa was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. It is currently under a reconstruction that began in 2010. It will reopen for the public in 2012.

Villa Müller (Loos) in Prague

The co-owner of a building company, František Müller had the villa built by architects Adolf Loos and Karel Lhota. It is located in the Prague quarter of Ořechovka (map). Adolf Loos implemented functionalism as well as the notion of space divided into cubes in the project and particular rooms of the house intermesh on different levels. The architect also designed most of the interior, in which he surprisingly balanced the features of functionalism and classical British style.

The villa has been reconstructed and is now opened to the public as a national cultural monument.

Kramář’s Villa in Prague

The building was built from 1911 to 1914 as the residence of Karel Kramář, the future first Czechoslovakian prime minister. The one-storey building was designed by the Viennese architect Friedrich Ohmann, who sketched a building with more than 56 rooms, most of them serving for representative purposes. Many prominent Czech artists contributed to the interior. The villa is located in the easternmost corner of Hradčany (map) quarter. It is surrounded by a large garden inspired by French-style parks.

Since 1998, it has served as the official residence of Czech Prime Ministers and thus opens its gates only on special occasions.

Author: Petra Hubálková
Added: 23.11.2011

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