In 1936, the sector of houses and villas in the southern corner of Pražské Předměstí Suburbs was enriched with a distinctive functionalist building – the villa of Karel Cee, an official of the Legiobank in Hradec Králové – that captured a lot of attention thanks to its cosmopolitan concept. Originally, the investor assigned the project to the Prague architect and designer Karel Horak who came to Hradec Králové to work as a trainee in the studio of architect Václav Rejchl Jr. (1931–1935). The first project of the villa from 1934 was rejected by the Building Commission due to its flat roof; a year later, it was pushed through, however, for the opposite plot on the corner of today’s Seydlerova and Sokolovská Streets.
The bold building represents a late example of architecture inspired by the nautical morphology discussed already in the 1920s. The house has an irregular, richly segmented floor plan with rounded corners facing the garden. The smooth white façade is broken by an irregular composition of windows of various sizes and shapes (including the strip windows along the rounded corner). The architect also accentuated the large round window above the main entrance – the iconic element of nautical architecture. The sense of the building as a vessel was emphasised by pergolas, sun louvres, and pipe railings on the roof terrace. This way, Karel Horák took the so-called emotional (or poetic) position of European functionalism that respected the aesthetic and psychological effect of architecture and that he could relate to thanks to his artistic background (later, he worked as a graphic designer, typographer, cartoonist, and artist).
The inner layout of the building met the contemporary standard of comfortable private life. The ground floor with the entrance staircase hall leading to the living room and dining room was the centre of the house. The private rooms were concentrated upstairs; the facilities (garage, warehouses) were situated in the basement. The project also included the interior furnishing with a few clever technical details such as rubbed interior plastering or cast iron radiators with a boiler in the kitchen.
The new villa, which stood out both among the neighbouring conservative family houses and most of the private construction projects in Hradec Králové, was mentioned in the local weekly newspaper, Kraj Královéhradecký, as an exemple of modern, efficient housing meeting the requirements on hygiene, the full use of the built-up areas, sufficient light, and smaller rooms that could be more economically heated.
At present, the building is well-maintained and retains many of the authentic elements, both in the interior and exterior.
Not under a preservation order.
- Jan Falta, Dům od architekta Horáka v Hradci Králové je vzdušnou a nadčasovou stavbou, Novinky.cz, dostupné online: https://www.novinky.cz/bydleni/tipy-a-trendy/444930-dum-od-architekta-horaka-v-hradci-kralove-je-vzdusnou-a-nadcasovou-stavbou.html (vyhledáno 20. 10. 2018)
- Jiří Fejgl, Neustoupil – a proto má funkcionalistická vila plochou střechu, HRADECKÝ.denik.cz, dostupné online: https://hradecky.denik.cz/zpravy_region/neustoupil-a-proto-ma-funkcionalisticka-vila-plochou-strechu-20140603.html (vyhledáno 20. 10. 2018)
K stavbě rodinných domů v Hradci Král. a okolí, Kraj Královéhradecký XXVII, 1936, č. 73, 31. 10., s. 6
Jan Falta, Rodinný dům pana Karla a Jaroslavy Cee na Pražském Předměstí u Hradce Králové, Dodatek k výroční zprávě Národního památkového ústavu v Pardubicích za rok 2003, Pardubice 2004, s. 13–34
Jan Fanta, Rodinný dům Karla a Jaroslavy Cee, in: Petr Ulrich (ed.), Slavné vily Královéhradeckého kraje, Praha 2008, s. 126–128
Jakub Potůček, Hradec Králové. Architektura a urbanismus 1895-2009, Hradec Králové 2009, s. 104
Pavel Panoch, Hradec Králové: Průvodce po architektonických památkách od středověku do současnosti, Havlíčkův Brod 2015, s. 262
Ladislav Zikmund-Lender, Struktura města v zeleni: Moderní architektura v Hradci Králové, Hradec Králové 2017, s. 177