Robert Schmidt’ firm was one of the leading construction companies that built a number of tenement and family houses and public buildings. Schmidt collaborated with leading local and Prague architects, for example, Rudolf Němec and Josef Gočár. Rudolf Němec also designed his villa on the border of Hradec Králové and Pražské Předměstí (Prague Suburbs).
Robert Schmidt’s villa is a response to the then very popular type of English houses, which had a main central space in the form of a residential staircase extending over two floors and combining the social, residential and communication function. The space was dominated by a fireplace as a symbol of rootedness, safety, and warmth. Němec’s project was significantly influenced by similar projects designed by Jan Kotěra, particularly from the early period of his work.
Inspired by English reformers of rural housing, architect Rudolf Němec first purposefully designed the inner space organized around the staircase hall, leading to representative rooms such a drawing room and a dining room with a summer terrace, as well as to the kitchen and a bedroom with a bathroom. The wooden staircase with a gallery at its end led to two guest rooms. The villa has a basement. Based on the resulting functional layout, the architect designed the exterior of the house in a manner typical for Kotěra’s work as well. But unlike Kotěra, whose sparsely decorated architecture clearly inspired him, Němec designed much richer decorations. He finished the “Kotěraesque” exteriors of the villa (with chamfered pylons) with a plaster ornamental line around the windows and artistic details made of metal. The gables included wooden parts and the house corner featured rusticwork made of unplastered yellow face bricks. The closed area with organically shaped garden beds of decorative greenery, reminiscent rather of a rural mansion than a urban villa, included the coachman’s house with stables, carriage house, a shed, and a kiosk. In 1929, a studio was built in the compound, where Robert Schmidt and his staff designed their architectural projects.
At present, the villa serves as an office building, and there is a wine bar in the basement. Recently, the villa has been renovated, the exterior insulated with an insulating layer, and the façade decoration faithfully transferred to a new layer.
No protection has been registered.
- Státní okresní archiv Hradec Králové, fond Berní správa, dokumentace k čp. 346
Petr Urlich (ed.), Slavné vily Královéhradeckého kraje, Praha 2007, s. 42–44
Jakub Potůček, Hradec Králové: Architektura a urbanismus, 1895–2009, Hradec Králové 2009, s. 21