Cubist Houses (Kubistické Domy)

Cubist Houses (Kubistické Domy) (59)

The 20th century, with its many uprisings and revolutionary ideas, included various artistic currents to which artists from all over Europe were quick to join. This is the case of cubism, which in Prague was successfully applied to architecture. A visit to some buildings in this style will show you this clearly.

Cubist architecture was an avant-garde style that had its moment of splendour before and after the First World War in Bohemia and Austria, although it never became popular in the rest of Europe. This is why the cubist architecture of Prague is quite unique.

Taking advantage of the demolition of the Jewish Quarter, at the beginning of the 20th century many architects were able to build their works in this area. Although the dominant style was art nouveau, cubism opened up the path and has left several examples that can still be visited today.

If you go into the Jewish Quarter as far as the corner of Bílkova and Elisky Krásnohorské streets, you will see a building with geometric motifs that are repeated. This house was built between 1919 and 1921.

To appreciate the House of the Black Madonna you will have to go to number 34 of Celetná Street. Here is where the architect Josef Gocar applied cubism, which can be particularly noted in the polyhedric outline of the loft. Inside the house you can visit the museum dedicated to Czech cubism, where there are paintings, sculptures and furniture in this style. On the first floor, the Café Orient is a spot where you will be able to enjoy a relaxing few moments.

In the area surrounding Charles IV Square, in the New Town, you will find the Diamond House. It stands in Spálená Street and is the work of Ladislav Srívánek, Matek Blecha and Antonín Pfeiffer. It dates from the first decade of the 20th century and the entrance is flanked by two curious columns of geometric shapes. The Diamond House is joined to the church of the Holy Trinity by means of a cubist arch beneath which is a statue of Saint John Nepomucene.

One of the most outstanding names of cubist architecture is that of Josef Chochol, who studied in Prague and later travelled to Vienna, where he and other architects of his generation had the opportunity to come in contact with the main European currents. Although he later moved on to constructivism and then functionalism, Chochol’s cubist contribution is very important.

To see this for yourself you just have to walk towards the foot of Vysehrad. At number 6 of Rasínovo Nábrezi stands the house he designed for three families.

At number 3 of Libusina you will see Chochol masterpiece, the Villa Kovarovic. Dated 1913, it is a detached house on a triangular site.

Although what is surely one of his most spectacular cubist style works is the apartment block at number 30 of Neklanova. Prism abound I this building, from the windows to the roof. It has recently been restored and everything has been meticulously taken care of, such as the handles of the doors and windows, the entrance doors or the ceramics on the stairway.

If you like out-of-the-ordinary architecture then visit this place. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

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