See the interiors of famous villas by world-renowned architects and see what life was like in these Functionalist and Art Nouveau gems.
Unique architecture, elegant interiors, luxury fittings – all these can be seen on tours of famous villas in the Czech Republic. In some you’ll admire the period fittings, in others the refined style or name of the architect, or you’ll find out something about the private life or unique life stories of those who lived in these famous villas.
Villa Tugendhat in Brno
A key work of Functionalist architecture, the Villa Tugendhat, registered on the list of UNESCO Heritage Sites, can be viewed in Brno-Černá pole. It was built for the Tugendhat family between 1929-30 according to the design of the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the fathers of modern, 20th-century architecture. Amongst the particularly well-known features are the glazed main living area with its original furnishings and winter garden, separated only by curtains and freely-standing walls. A wooden, crescent-shaped wall separates the dining-area from other spaces and a rare onyx wall separates the living-area from the study.
Villa Müller, Prague
Villa Müller in the Ořechovka locality in Prague was built by architects Adolf Loos and Karel Lhota for builder and entrepreneur František Müller. In this villa, built in the years 1928-30, Loos applied not only Functionalist ideas, but also the Raumplan theory – spaces are divided not into individual floors, but ‘cubes’, and individual rooms are divided over several different levels. The villa is open to the public as part of the Prague City Museum, the interiors are fitted with original furniture and accessories. Visitors can also view a small exhibition on the life of Adolf Loos, including an overview of other well-known buildings he designed.
Villa Bauer in Libodřice near Kolín
Slightly older the Villa Müller and Villa Tugendhat is the one designed by architect Josef Gočár for Adolf Bauer, the owner of a large estate, in the then new Cubist style. Following refurbishment, visitors are able to view the house with its park and gardens in its original form from the years 1912-14.
The villa today serves as the Josef Gočár Museum and Gallery of Cubist Design. If you like the atmosphere of the early 20th century, you’ll like the preserved bathroom fittings, hearth panelling, built-in cupboards, library, Cubist furnishings and examples of Cubist ceramics and glassware. There is a small exhibition on the life and work of Josef Gočár, history of the villa and other modern architecture heritage sites in the vicinity.
Villa Bílek, Prague
The sculptor, draughtsman, graphic artist and illustrator František Bílek (1872–1941) was, similarly to Alfons Mucha, a representative of the Czech Art Nouveau. This family villa and studio, which Bílek had built in 1911 and is not far from Prague Castle, is intended to symbolise a field of rye. Its ground plan is based on the traces of a scythe in a corn field, with the roof resembling the field itself, a first in Prague. The light-coloured columns represent stylised sheaves of corn, with similar motifs being used on the carved doors, wrought-iron door handles and furniture on the interiors. Inside the villa is a permanent exhibition and Bílek’s studio.
Villa Jurkovič, Brno
The beauty of Art Nouveau, combined with rich folk art, can be admired at Villa Jurkovič in Brno-Žabovřesky. This original house, designed by Slovakian architect Dušan Jurkovič (1868–1947) and dating from 1906, was intended solely as a residence for the artist and his family, but also as a showcase of current European trends in architecture and residential culture. Following completion of the building, Jurkovič ran an exhibition of his interior designs and works. The building is now in the care of the Moravian Gallery.