The Renaissance Revival corner building with a turret, designed for grammar school teacher Karel Wipler, was one of the first detached villas in Hradec Králové. It was built on the area that was one of the first created by demolishing the walls around the city centre. Many plots were purchased by developer and self-taught designer Václav Rejchl to build and profitably sell several villas. Karel Wipler’s house was one of the three villas at no. 374, 376 and 377.
Its layout matched the type of the building, i.e. a bourgeois villa. On the ground floor facing the street, there were large walk-through living rooms, for example, a lounge, study and dining hall; in the part facing the garden, there were utility rooms such as the kitchen, pantry, and bath. In the middle, there was a passageway. The exterior featured interesting Renaissance Revival elements such as sgraffito decorations, floor shields, and a turret with a chisel-shaped roof. The decorations were designed by Václav Rejchl who was a skilled draughtsman and graduate of evening courses in decorative architecture at the School of Applied Arts in Třebechovice. The decorations on the three villas in the residential area Morušovka on Orlické nábřeží Embankment, and especially on Wipler’s villa, are based on the canon of the so-called Czech Renaissance promoted by architect Antonín Wiehl. While Wipler’s villa and the neighbouring villa of the Bečička family were probably inspired by Italian (Venetian) villa architecture, the decorations designed by Rejchl show a programmatic shift towards the local traditions and the promotion of national emancipatory ideas. František Palacký (a Czech historian, politician, and the most influential person of the Czech National Revival; TN) described the Italian architectural inspiration as “foreign elements that would undermine the physiognomy of the city”. As for Wipler’s villa, the effort to feature the national symbols can be seen in the decorative lime twigs in the strips below the crown cornice, created with the sgraffito technique, and in the moralizing inscriptions evoking folk literature: “God bless this house and those who live in it.”
Wipler’s villa is an immovable cultural heritage site, reg. on the Central List of Cultural Monuments of the Czech Republic, no. 104745, and part of the protected site of the Hradec Králové conservation area.
Marie Benešová; František Toman; Jan Jakl, Salón republiky: Moderní architektura Hradce Králové, Hradec Králové 2000, s. 39
Petr Urlich (ed.), Slavné vily Královéhradeckého kraje, Praha 2007, s. 30–32
Ladislav Zikmund-Lender, Tři generace architektů: Václav st., Václav ml., Jan a Milan Rejchlovi, Hradec Králové 2012, s. 22