After 1918, the city of Hradec Králové and its suburban municipalities tried to solve
the housing crisis by building their own small workers’ houses. Most of the buildings in the city center had modern housing standards: a private bathroom or at least a private toilet, a pantry, etc. This was not always the case in suburban municipal housing developments, which had
to accommodate large numbers of workers and other rather poorer employees. Such was
the case in Hradec Králové, especially in the villages of Kukleny and Prague Suburbs, which gradually developed into industrial localities. In Prague Suburbs, architects and builders Josef Mudra, Antonín Slejška and Josef Stejskal were mainly involved in municipal construction until the 1930s.
An example of such a building, which was supposed to solve the housing shortage although it did not offer modern luxury, was one of the first municipal houses built in the area of Nerudova and Horova Streets. The plans for a one-story apartment house in Prague Suburbs by Josef Mudra are dated 5 July 1924. They were submitted to the Municipal Council for approval
a week later, on 12 July. The documentation stressed that it was a municipal apartment building “with small apartments.” The house had a basement in the part facing the street, and there were twelve cellars. The house had a symmetrical layout, with the entrance located
on the central axis, and a stairwell facing the courtyard. The layout was symmetrical, with four one-bedroom apartments on each side and two toilets in each corridor. The two larger
one-bedroom apartments faced the street, the two smaller ones faced the courtyard. On
the first floor, there were two two-room apartments on each side and one one-room apartment in the middle. However, neither apartment had a bathroom or separate toilet; two and two apartments always shared a hallway with a toilet. The attic was habitable in the wing facing the courtyard, with a pitched roof sloping down to the street. In the attic were two two-room apartments, which were probably the most luxurious: each had an extra pantry and
a separate toilet.
In the early 1920s, Jaroslav Mudra designed row houses and apartment buildings with rich decorative ornamentation. Decorative relief fields, profiled cornices and arched shapes were used. This is also the case with the municipal house in Prague Suburbs. The ground floor is divided by lesene frames around the four window axes and the entrance; the ground floor and first floor are divided by several cornices; and there are six decorative fields with sgraffito decoration between the first floor windows: in the four rectangular central fields, there are always two cornucopias; in the smaller, two fields on each side one. The crown profiles cornice is supported by decorative, classically shaped metopes. The roof is broken by three skylights enclosed by a distinctive, straight arch.
In 1940, builder Antonín Slejška designed a one-story extension and new roof frames.
This was to increase the capacity by two two-room apartments with bathrooms and five
one-room apartments, but the construction did not take place because of WWII.
The municipal apartment house is a unique example of suburban housing construction that fell short of big city standards, but the architects tried to design it as efficiently as possible to provide decent housing for as many residents as possible, making the decorative architecture accessible to the masses and lower classes.
No protection has been registered.
- Státní okresní archiv v Hradci Králové, Archiv města Pražské Předměstí, inv. č. 167, obecní výstavba