Address: Ulrichovo náměstí 735, Hradec Králové
Public transport: Ulrichovo náměstí (BUS 5, 11, 14, 15, 17; TROLEJBUS 2, 6)
GPS: 50.210925, 15.823043
Date: 1926, 1927–1928 (P) 1927–1928 (R)
Builder: František Komárek
Gočár’s project for Ladislav Duran, who was a co-owner of the Duran and Řehák wholesale bakery, dates from October 1926. Only the exterior design has survived, which was based on Gočár’s overall regulation of Ulrichovo náměstí Square and its surroundings. Gočár designed an unobtrusive building in the northwestern part of the square front with a beveled corner, prominent dormers around large three-part, almost square windows, and an open ground floor. The retail parterre was to contain ten shops; the largest of which would be located on the corner of Ulrichovo náměstí Square and K. H. Máchy Street. Gočár apparently envisaged a glazed mezzanine above the shops, where the storage rooms were to be located.
The house itself was entered from the square and the main entrance was to be framed by
a receding door frame. It is possible that the entire ground floor was already in Gočár’s design to be either clad with slabs of fine stone or otherwise separated in color or material,
as evidenced by the subtle line dividing the ground floor and the rest of the façade in
the design, but we cannot say for sure.
Apparently, Duran eventually changed his mind about investing in the property according
to Gočár’s design and the very next year Czechoslovak State Railways Employees’ Death Benefit Fund began building on the land. The building permit was issued on 12 September 1927 and the construction was carried out from 22 August 1927 to 15 June 1928;
the completion certificate was issued on 13 July 1928. The project was signed by František Komárek, a builder from Svobodné Dvory.
The basement contained two separate cellar rooms – one large one with eight cubicles (however, the other cellar rooms could also be divided into cubicles and thus sixteen cubicles were to be created). In addition, there was a common room and a small office with windows facing the lowered courtyard and a small caretaker’s apartment with a kitchen, one room and a bathroom. There was also a central heating boiler room and a storeroom with a separate lift from the pavement. Gočár’s design of the ground floor was altered: there were only three larger shops and the headquarters of the Benefit Fund. The Fund had a corner area and
a tract facing K. H. Máchy Street. The headquarters consisted of a waiting room located behind the main entrance from the corner, an area marked as “liquidation” with a counter, followed by archives, an accounting room and the director’s office with a hallway. In the wing facing the square, behind the two shops, there was an apartment with windows facing
the courtyard. It contained an entrance hall, bathroom, toilet, pantry, kitchen, and a room. Upstairs there were three units in total; the smallest apartment containing a bedroom, room, kitchen and facilities was situated in the corner. A generously proportioned apartment with three rooms, a bedroom, kitchen and facilities faced K. H. Máchy Street. The apartment facing the square had two staircases leading to it from the mezzanine floor and therefore two entrances. One led to the two-room apartment with a bedroom and kitchen, the other to
the waiting room and the surgery. The surgery was connected to the hallway of the apartment. Even older plans from 13 August 1927, also signed by Komárek, have survived, showing four apartments on the first floor – the smallest apartment is on the site of the final surgery with waiting room. The plans of the upper floors were unchanged from August onwards, with a total of four apartments on the second and third floors, one comprising two rooms (bedroom and kitchen), two comprising a room, bedroom and kitchen, and two comprising a room and kitchen. In the attic, with the roof sloping down to the street, there were a total of twenty attic cubicles; two small two-room apartments were situated in the courtyard (but even these had
a pantry, toilet and bathroom), and there was a common pantry and laundry in the corner.
František Komárek took the solution from Gočár’s less than a year old design and made only one addition: he planned to break the four dormer windows in the roof, but this was rejected by the building authority. In Komárek’s design, the composition of materials is clearer:
the ground floor was to imitate the stone paneling, as was the case on all the fronts of
the square, the plaster was to be the so-called reform plaster and the chambranles around
the windows were to be different, an imitation of Ulm granite. Komárek designed an iron awning over the entrance to the Benefit Fund from the corner, probably with a lighted inscription of the name of the business. Gočár apparently agreed with Komárek’s adoption of the exterior design, as he incorporated the updated design into his 1928 design for
the regulation of the entire block. However, as evidenced by period photographs,
the chambranles around the windows were eventually removed from the design and
the exterior took on a more modern appearance. This may have been at Gočár’s request, because in his design for the regulation of the entire Block XVIII of 14 April 1928, the dormers disappeared from the facade of the Benefit Fund.
The tenement house of the Czechoslovak State Railways Employees’ Death Benefit Fund is part of the listed the urban conservation area in Hradec Králové
- Národní technické muzeum, Archiv architektury a stavitelství, fond Josef Gočár, č. 14, inv. č. 20041209/03 a 20110309/04
- Státní okresní archiv v Hradci Králové, Archiv města Hradec Králové, fond Berní správa, dokumentace k čp. 735
Marie Benešová, Josef Gočár, Praha 1958, s. 50