After WWII, the telegraph and telephone services began to develop rapidly and manual exchanges ceased to meet the increasing demands on the technology. In 1947, architect Jan Rejchl designed a project of an automatic telephone exchange for the Post Directorate in Pardubice in a vacant lot between Československé armády (formerly Jiříkova) Street and Chmelova Street.
The building is sensitively placed between the adjacent buildings; it respects their height and does not interfere with their operation: next to the neighbouring house in Československé armády Street, a passage to the yard both for the house and the new telephone exchange was built. The slight indentation of the wing in Chmelova Street created a corner with the entrance to the building. Thus, the wings of the building were clearly separated and a roof terrace between their different height levels was built in Chmelova Street. The façade is made of red ceramic tiles and light façade plaster. The ceramic tiles were used on the first two floors and the fifth floor of the wing facing Československé armády Street; the smooth plaster was used on the protruding third and fourth floors. The front façade facing Československé armády Street ends with a lesene framework on the third, fourth and fifth floors. The façade is divided by large window openings rhythmically following the structural system. In addition to the telephone exchange, the building also included the postmaster’s flat on the fourth floor and the caretaker’s flat on the first floor.
The structural system consists of a reinforced concrete skeleton based on footings. The wing facing Chmelova Street has a frame structure. Since this part contained large halls, it was necessary to increase the load bearing capacity and span of the load-bearing structures and reduce the cost of material; therefore, the frame structure was used. The building shell was then made of lightweight infill brickwork.
The layout of the building was purely functional, and most rooms still serve their original purpose. The second floor was reconstructed in 2014; the first and third floors in 2016. At the end of 2018, the renovation of the entrance area and exterior began.
The telephone exchange is part of the protected urban conservation area in Hradec Králové.
- Státní okresní archiv Hradec Králové, fond ONV Hrade Králové; inv. č. 301; kart. č. 342; Vypracoval Jan Wipler a kolektiv; čistopis Stanislava Svatoňová