Vladimír Fultner was very lucky to work in favourable conditions that enabled him to develop his talent and use his youthful courage and energy. He was able to verify his assumptions and plans in actual projects, which was something his classmates from the technical university longed for. Fultner began his short professional career at an unusually young age with unusual support. It was also thanks to Mayor František Ulrich, who became famous for his plan to transform a former fortress town into a modern urbanistic centre. Besides Jan Kotěra, many young architects designed quality architecture in Hradec Králové, including Kotěra’s pupils and collaborators such Josef Gočár and Friedrich Ohmann’s followers Rudolf Němec and Bedřich Bendelmayer. Ulrich also encouraged owners to entrust their projects to promising newcomers.
Fultner had to deal with one of the most difficult tasks in 1909when he became the first architect to design modernist buildings in the historic urban area. His uncle, prominent leather manufacturer Antonín Hanuš, wanted to renovate his historic buildings in the former Svatojanské náměstí Square and unite them in one complex. The representative new complex at the very entrance to Velké náměstí Square was planned to reflect the growing prestige of the industrialist’s family. Eventually, Hanuš decided to build a new object on the site of house no. 170 and the newly bought house no. 171, which were torn down, and to redevelop the corner house no. 169, increased by one floor by Fultner. Fultner connected the two parts with a façade and created a breath-taking complex with typical features of modern European trends – a moderately structured mass and surface, a pronounced vertical composition featuring cost-effective, but impressive late Art Nouveau geometric decorations and an elegant cornice respecting the layout of the building. The references to Kotěra’s creative repertoire, for example, the thin strips of face bricks or the retreating window jambs, are striking, too.
In this project, Fultner symbolically connected old houses with the buildings designed by Kotěra (the City Museum, the District House, and the Urban Grand Hotel) on the Elbe waterfront where fortification objects were torn down. When intervening in the sensitive urban structure, the architect paid attention to the discretion of the new complex to the historical context. In the design of Hanuš’s house, Fultner was inspired by the highly aesthetic Viennese style. In his composition, we can find a lot of references to Otto Wagner, the founder of Viennese local modern architecture, including his true concept of construction, the use of appropriate morphology, and the “poetic” finishing touches. The final form of the façade of Hanuš’s house was pushed through by Fultner and Mayor Ulrich despite the initial outrage of the city officials.
Under a preservation order.
Marcel Pencák, Hradecký architekt. Vladimír Fultner ve spleti české moderny, Brno 2013, S. 63–77.
Jakub Potůček, Hradec Králové. Architektura a urbanismus 1895-2009, Hradec Králové 2009, S. 30.
Marie Benešová – František Toman – Jan Jakl, Salón republiky. Moderní architektura Hradce Králové, Hradec Králové 2000, S. 60–61.