At the turn of 1909‒1910 Josef Gočár designed a monumental seat of the Protestant Church of the Augsburg Confession, until located in Černilov. It was a large-scale project with many functions in monumental modern forms. Gočár conceived the project as an urban solution for Kavčí plácek, a descent from the old town towards Pospíšilova Street, which became
an exhibition boulevard with a number of residences of important educational and social institutions at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. At this time, Josef Gočár dealt with
the question raised by the Dutch architect Peter Behrens: What should be the monumental forms of architecture for modern times. Behrens’s formative text “What is Monumental Art?” was published in 1909 in Styl magazine. Gočár demonstrated this in his competition design of the Old Town Hall, eliminated from the competition because of its radicalism, in the project of the Protestant church in Hradec Králové, and in the project of the Luther Institute. In its material solution and design of the façades, he was inspired mainly by Italian Renaissance architecture, to which the narrow tower with statues of the Evangelical Fathers on the top,
the distinctive crown cornice and the varied geometric texture reminiscent of the tile paneling of the Doge’s Palace in Venice refer. Italian Renaissance patterns are also recalled in the tract of the prayer room, projecting towards Pospíšilova Street, which is roofed with a compressed arch and had a semicircular apse. The main tract of the building has rough plaster with vertical stripes up to the height of the first floor, and there is a distinctive cornice between
the first and second floors and smooth plaster on the second floor. A two-story avant-corps with a single window axis projected into Kavčí plácek Street.
The staircase connecting Kavčí plácek Street and the circular avenue was designed by Gočár in a similar layout to the staircase at the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary from
the same period. The entrance area from below was festive – it had a semicircular shape. There were two prisms with built-in lighting along the entrance to the staircase. There was
an elongated passage divided by a single landing, followed by a curved staircase and four cross arms.
The internal layout was fit for the purpose: there was to be a separate prayer room, which Gočár placed in a two-story high separate wing rising from the slope and facing Pospíšilova Street. Its façade was to be complemented by two female allegorical sculptures, an element that Gočár probably drew from the museum building designed by Kotěra. The prayer room was to be connected to the basement of the main wing but it was also independently accessible from the staircase. We have no idea about the planned decoration and furnishings. We only know that it was to have an emporium on the east and west walls on the first floor. The west emporium was apparently to have a row of seats and the east wall had broken windows. The prayer room was to be topped with a single-story apse.
In the basement of the main wing there were facilities – a boiler room, a laundry and cellars. On the ground floor, the entrance hall, similar to a residential stair hall in houses, was
the heart of the building and the communication center. From here, visitors’ steps were to diverge into two parts: three large classrooms in the southern part and the dining room and one-room reverend apartment with a kitchen. The building had two stairwells: one tight spiral staircase in the northern part and the main double staircase in the southern part. Upstairs, there were living quarters for the reverend’s apartment in the north section and large bedrooms for the resident evangelical boys in the south section. The main part of
the accommodation was located on the second flooGočár’s visionary project was not carried out, probably because it was too costly or because it was too radical in form. In 1913‒1915,
a much more economical, classical and less demanding project by Václav Rejchl Sr. and Václav Rejchl Jr. was built.
The project was never built.
- Muzeum východních Čech, sbírka plánů, Josef Gočár, Lutherův ústav
Jan Jakl, Sny a vize: Neuskutečněné projekty Josefa Gočára pro Hradec Králové, Hradec Králové 2010, s. 4‒7