The Architect



architect, sculptor, designer, stage designer, sociologist, editor, and teacher. Born in Prague, 1893 and died in Prague in 1974.

From 1911 until 1916 he studied architecture and civil engineering at the Technical University in Prague. In the period between 1918 and 1927 he obtained practical experience in the professional field in the vicinity of Prague. During the years of 1920-1923 he worked also as a stage designer and director in city theaters. In 1925 he became professor at the Czech Technical University in Brno of which he was later appointed as Chancellor. In 1927 he launched the Horizon Review (Czech: Horizont) that focused on the prewar Czechoslovakia’s culture. He functioned as its editor-in-chief. As an anti-fascist fighter he was imprisoned in the concentration camps Dachau and Buchenwald (1939-1940). Finally, from 1951 until 1957, he could work in his own project studio. From 1957 until his death he was the chief adviser for the Department of State Heritage and Investment Development under the auspices of the Czechoslovak Ministry of Education and Culture.

Architecture Work

Kroha followed his own art philosophy, modifying some ideas through all his life. He emphasized the dynamic form with its concomitant psychological aspects. Since he was socially engaged, he was searching for new principles and approach, and was thus involved in the mutually creative dialogue with such European architects as H.Mayer, M.Stam, J.J.P.Oud, P.Behrens, A.Perret, V.Tatlin, A.+V.Vesnin. Being an avant-garde artist, he explored and applied cubism, neoplasticism, expressionism to his work. In later years he advocated socialist realism and social futurism.

Since 1922 he was in the process of designing several public as well as family and residential buildings that were conceived as complete works of art. Beginning in 1926 he started a series of national exhibitions whose expressive style significantly influenced the characteristic design of Czech exhibitions. From 1930 he worked on “The Theory of Habitation” and on “The Economy of the Smallest Flat.” In 1951 he embarked on the major idea how to solve master plans of agglomerations, housing estates, and as a result he designed the new Slovak town of Nova Dubnica that happened to be influenced by experience with the Red Vienna. In his last years (from 1970 on) he tried to formulate and envision future social apartment houses.