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Architecture as a "science-based cultural work"

Czech architects: majestic Sutnar's villa as Oldřich Starý's pride

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13.Jul 2019
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Sutnar's villa in Prague

Following his artistic and architectural education at the Czech Technical University in Prague, Oldřich Starý (1884 - 1971) first turned to teaching activity and began to design buildings in Prague as well as outside the capital - in Pilsen, Kladno and Brno. He focused his creative attention in particular on the design of family houses and villas, which he was creating in the functionalist style between 1927 and 1934.

One of his most famous buildings is the Prague villa designed for Ladislav Sutnar, a well-known Czech painter and graphic artist.

Luxury Sutnar Villa

The building is set in a steeply descending slope in the Baba colony, giving a simple cubic shape a specific expression. The south side is supported by pillars and the interior is functionally divided into a living area and a studio. The luxury villa has three floors overall. At the end of the 1960s, an annexed garage was added to the original version, which improved access to the building from the rear. The house underwent a complete reconstruction in the 1990s.

Ladislav Sutnar lived in the villa with his wife for only a couple of years. During the occupation they were offered political asylum in America, which they accepted. They bequeathed the luxury villa to their offspring.

Luxusní byt na prodej s terasou a výhledem
Luxusní byt na prodej s terasou a výhledem, Praha 1

A thought pioneer

Oldřich Starý promoted the principles of "new architecture" in the interwar period, focusing particularly on the purity and truthfulness of forms. He was creating in the spirit of the idea that architecture is not an art, but "science-based cultural work". In this perspective, we can view his Klement Gottwald Museum, which was founded shortly after Gottwald's death in 1954 in a Neo-Renaissance bank palace on Rytířská Street in Prague, today a seat of Česká spořitelna. Another example is the administrative building in Srbsko near Beroun or 4 town houses in Kladno.

The architect's most representative villa stands in the Lochotín area in Pilsen and it was created for the Pilsen-based builder Václav Friš. The design also included objects in the garden, a garage, a greenhouse and a gazebo. His work in the public space include, among others, tthe House of Art Industry on Národní třída in Prague.

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