The corner single-storey palace of the largest bank in Hradec Králové was built on the site of two medieval houses. The pure Neo-Baroque style was designed by the “last of the Mohicans of the Prague Baroque”, Rudolf Němec, a talented pupil of Friedrich Ohmann. In 1903, he started teaching at the local locksmith school and moved from Prague to Hradec Králové with his family. He lived there until his untimely death at age 42 in 1914. The bank building with a monumental façade, representative interiors, rich ornamentation, and numerous artisan details brought its creators a great reputation and more valuable projects in the city of Hradec Králové.
The building on a rectangular plan has a shorter wing in the south and a longer one in the east. Both its floors are separated by a cordon cornice, and the façade abounds with décor – shaped chambranles, pilasters, parapet festoons, volutes, and masks. An interesting feature is the central oval stucco with bees and a decorative element in the shape of a beehive, apparently referring to diligence and frugality the banking house tried to inspire in its clients. The roof terminal is defined by a massive cornice.
The main entrance to the two-storey building is located on the dominant corner, which is artistically accented and impressively indented. The entrance is arched in a semicircle and decorated with a pair of eagles. The architect added more material to the upper part, including a high oriel, and the whole concept culminates in a multi-layered roof dome. Like the dynamic and rhythmical façade, the internal arrangement evokes an original Baroque design. The most impressive features include the generous staircase and the other bright spaces, while the entrance hall remains somewhat overshadowed. The interior includes a number of colourful decorative elements – panelled walls, variously shaped chambranles, floral garlands, and lights with chased stands. The impressive lecture hall is decorated with frescoes by Josef Douba. The sculptural and stucco decorations were created by pupil sculptor Josef Myslbek’s pupil Josef Pekárek and the local artist František Čermák.
Later, the bank palace was used by the tax office; for many years, it was as a home of the city library. Today, it serves as a community house.
The first Credit Union palace is an immovable cultural monument No. 46190/6-4702, registered on the Central List of Cultural Monuments of the Czech Republic (ÚSKP) and part of the protected urban conservation area in Hradec Králové.
Marie Benešová – František Toman – Jan Jakl, Salón republiky. Moderní architektura Hradce Králové, Hradec Králové 2000, s. 38