On this page you can find information about the villa which created the architect Jiří Kroha and where he also lived in. Provided are facts about the architectural work of the architect with his vision of housing and his work in the field of design.
Villa Kroha – from Dutch Neoplasticism to Functionalism
Villa Kroha, 1930, arcitect Jiří Kroha, Sedlákova 45, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic
The villa was designed in 1928-1929, and built in 1930 by the Czech architect and painter Jiří Kroha (1893-1974). As an accomplished painter, Kroha conceived of his villa as an experiment in the construction, design, material, color and light. The style is the departure from the principles of the Dutch Neoplasticism and Functionalism and Cubism which – as he said – would have to be produced with the touch of lyricism. Based on the rectangular plan with the reinforced concrete skeleton, the villa stood for a play with half-opened disposition. The house is situated on the city hill, and is partly surrounded with garden. It was conceived as a complete work of art that also met some of the Corbusier’s principles. Kroha designed his own furniture, sculptures, pictures and even some toys and dishes as well as the garden. The villa was commissioned as a private home and Kroha used the interior as his own picture gallery. During his life he made some changes in the disposition. The house was often visited by well-known avant-garde architects, philosophers and painters.
Kroha lived in his house until his death. The villa has been continuously occupied by Kroha’s family. The authentic material, composition, colors, disposition, furniture, and garden have been preserved in their complexity.
The Symbolic Features:
To his grandchildren, Kroha described his house as a tree with its pulsing life inside. The basic white cube of the house is elevated above the ground by pillars as if they were tree roots, painted black and later changed to the brown-red color. The pillars extend partly through the whole interior like a part of the tree trunk. Cubicles overlapping the construction are of olive green color like tree leaves, occasionally they assume black color like dark branches on the upper terrace and in one narrow wall (this was later changed).
The central motif was to present through the varied light intensity the significant function of the individual room walls. The horizontal and vertical freely flowing space is formed on the base of the half-opened staircases and living areas. As Kroha mentions, “I created a system of interconnected spaces with calming and stimulating effect, providing thus views of the interior through windows across the whole wall, through the axial illuminating views of the garden and the street. The light was intentionally intensified in a gradual way.
The first (inhabited) floor: white, orange, black, dark green-blue walls, green-blue doors, yellow carpet with orange curtains.
The second floor: white with one dark-blue wall.
The third floor: white.
It is the reinforced concrete skeleton based on the horizontal reinforced concrete grid resting on the low brick walls. The upper masonry consists of 30 cm thick whole bricks with Heraclith insulation.
The regular plan. The basement has two entrances, cellars, later garage. The first floor consists of the dining and living areas, enclosed kitchen (inspired by the Lihotzky Frankfurt Kitchen) and the small bathroom. The second floor includes bedrooms, guestroom, bathroom, gallery with open office, balcony with training tools. The third floor has the roof terrace with a drawing office and depository for architectonic plans.
Insider Guide/Other Points of Interest:
Another villa, designed by Kroha, is the Villa Pod Vodojemem (1935-1936), located on Kaplanova 11, 602 00 Brno. As a matter of fact, there are a few more family homes designed in the Functionalist style to be found in the same area.