The original building of the power plant with two turbines was built in 1917–1922 and privately owned by the miller Voženílek and his family, and it included living quarters for the owner's family. The family also had a company of the same name – a system of agricultural plants. The power plant also supplied energy to neighboring power plants in East Bohemia. However, due to a natural disaster, a general lack of security and errors in the construction, the building collapsed on 10 April 1932 and was subsequently demolished. The accident not only disrupted the power plant itself and interrupted the supply of electricity, but also destroyed the living quarters, the rightmost pillar of the right weir field, the feeder and waste trough of the power plant and part of the bridge.
The new power plant, including the bridge and weir, prepared by the Directorate for the Construction of Waterways between Hradec Králové and Předměřice, was to be built the following year, but disputes over compensations and irregularities surrounding the new construction dragged on for many more years, and so the new power plant was not designed until 1939. Construction began in 1940, followed by several years of interruption in 1943 due to the war. The building was completed in 1952 by the Kindl company from Prague. In contrast to the location of the original building, the new power plant was moved about fifty meters downstream to avoid similar situations and to be more structurally sound. It has been in operation since 1953, and a flood protection dam was added in 1961.
It is a functionalist power plant designed according to Le Corbusier’s principles. It has strip windows, a loose layout and frontage and it was built from reinforced concrete. The functionality of the building was prioritized over the aesthetics of the exterior. The building is divided by block windows, which consist of fixed panes and opening panes in two rows with wide sills and recesses and has a smooth beige façade.
The power plant stands on the right side of the weir. The weir is movable and composed of two bays. The functional height of the weir is 4,08m. It contains a Kaplan turbine, which is a product of Spojené brněnské strojírny a slévárny (The United Brno Engineering and Foundry). The building also contains two residential units, the operator’s office, a workshop, and a warehouse.
At present, part of the structure, namely the weir, the fortification in the overpass and the left side in the underpass, is managed by Povodí Labe, while the power plant itself is owned by Hydročez a.s. and the bridge by SÚS Hradec Králové.
The history of building is very interesting, including the collapse of the old building, the court cases regarding the guilt or innocence of its architects and managers, and the construction of the new power plant with the bridge and weir. The current form and functionality has proven to be successful and the power plant has been operated to this day. At the same time, it was sensitively integrated into the landscape.
Barbora Kašubová, Martina Valchářová, Tomáš Lorenc