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Competition for the Realistic Theatre of Zdeňek Nejedlý in Prague

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(detail)1957 | competition


Jiří Gočár |architect - participant of the competition
Josef Brunclík |architect - participant of the competition
Viktor Formáček |architect - participant of the competition
Rudolf Ječný |architect - participant of the competition
Josef Kittrich |architect - participant of the competition
Emanuela Kittrichová |architect - participant of the competition
Miroslav Derynk |architect - participant of the competition
Věkoslav Pardyl |architect - participant of the competition
(detail)Zdeněk Vávra |architect - participant of the competition

He worked in Státní ústav pro rekonstrukci památkových měst a objektů (State institute for reconstruction of memorial cities and constructions) throughout his life. He realized theatre in Český Těšín with J. Černohorský in 1960. He was working on design studies for National Theatre reconstruction. Afterwards he led the realization team.  Later he worked on the reconstruction of the South Bohemia Theatre. 

Source: www.cka.cc/

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František Flašar |architect - participant of the competition


The Realistic Theatre started  performing after the Second World War in the building of the Švanda's Theatre in Smíchov under direction of stage directors Jan Škoda, Karel Palouš, Oto Ornest and stage designer Jan Sládek. The company gained an important status in the 1950s in Prague so establishment of a new theatre venue was being considered. A section of a municipal park in Smíchov was selected as a construction site for the new structure in front of the National House in Art Nouveau style and a pilot study carried out by Jiří Gočár. The study already contained all the essential features that appeared in the later designs according to the assigned programme, according to which a chamber theatre should have come into the existence with a capacity of 800 seats and modest common areas. A segmental shape of an amphitheatre was selected for the layout of the auditorium.  The outer appearance of the theatre captured attention by its simplicity, modesty and usage of standardized elements. Architectural competition followed in 1957, which was participated by Jiří Gočár, Josef Brunclík, Viktor Formáček and Rudolf Ječný, Josef Kittrich with Emanuela Kittrichová, Miroslav  Derynk  and Věkoslav Pardyl. The biggest architectural issue of the competition became the small construction site in the neighbourhood of Smíchov basilica and deanery building, which did not allow variability in layout.  The Gočár’s design offered only partial changes. Josef Brunclík chose a model of a two-storey amphitheatre of a segmental shape for the auditorium with five front boxes, inserted below the balcony.

Two-storey layout was employed with minor modifications by authors of other two designs Formáček – Ječný or Kittrich and co. The stage section was designed by all the designers according to same principles:  with the possibility of mounting a forestage in front of the proscenium arch above the orchestra pit, with a turntable, fixed cyclorama and handling area being accessible from the stage. The outer appearance of the theatres followed the classicising Decorativism of the 1950s.  

The first prize was not awarded, the second one was attributed to the design by Jiří Gočár. However, Gočár has not worked out the final design, but recommended to assign its realization to young architects  Zdeněk Vávra a František Flašar, the authors of a high-quality House of Culture in Český Těšín. A new design came into the existence in 1961 that synthesized the previous designs. The layout of the auditorium was designed as an amphitheatre on an oblong plan being bevelled in the primary third and with five front boxes. The possibility of erecting a proscenium had remained with lifting the floor of the orchestra pit to the level of the stage, similarly as the principle of the front lighting from openings in the ceiling. The so called Brussels style appeared already in the arrangement of the interior. As it is noted by Jiří Hilmera, probably no revolutionary venue would have come into the existence at all, but the Czech theatre architecture would have manifested the progressive tradition of the pre-war avant-garde after the period of Socialist Realism. The preparatory construction works were initiated in 1962, but the project was suspended due to economical factors and deferred forever.



Architektura ČSR XV, 1956, s. 48.

Architektura ČSR XVI, 1957, s. 301-309.


Tags: Architectural competition


Author: Markéta Svobodová

Translator: Jan Purkert

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