The villa of Hubert and Hedvika Henik

Přerov

One of Alois Pilcʼs finest buildings, realised in a newly-emerging residential area near Michalov Park in Přerov, can bear comparison with the works of the Czech functionalist greats thanks to its clean forms and balanced proportions that meet all five of the points of modern architecture established by Le Corbusier (free plan, free façade, load-bearing piles, strip windows, and roof terraces); it also stands out for its practical two-generation layout, which was able to provide the occupants with adequate privacy when required.

The Heniks had the first plan of the house drawn in 1932 by the Olomouc architect Karel Štajgr, the author of several local villas. In the end, the proposal remained only on paper, but it exerted an influence on Pilcʼs subsequent conception. The building is better known under the name of Jindřich Lančíkʼs villa. The nephew of František Lančík, a member of the town council and future mayor of Přerov, Jindřich Lančík took care of the Henik family’s affairs as a lawyer. He became close to their daughter Emma, his future spouse. In 1934 he gained the trust of his father-in-law, who appointed him his heir and administrator of his estate. As a former student of sociology, psychology, and aesthetics, Jindřich Lančík was drawn by the wind to the cultural environment of the amateur theatre group Tyl, where he became friends with the stage designer and architect Alois Pilc. It was thanks to this connection that the architect gained the opportunity to create his masterpiece.

Two blocks of unequal heights, meeting at the diagonal of the corners, were already situated on a long sloping plot of land in the design of Karel Štajgr. The decorous interconnection of the blocks was not insignificant – the villa was intended to serve as a two-generation dwelling with two separate residential units, the smaller of which was intended for the Henik family, the larger for the Lančík family. Pilc found this simple solution to the problem of the irregularity of the plan to be functional and stuck to it in his own project. The architect replaced more than half of the significantly elevated basement of the lower of the blocks by building the residential part on cylindrical piles. By levelling the ground, he created a continuous through space from the freely conceived main façade into the garden. The richly decorated façade facing south is distinguished by the conservatory in the block of the Heniksʼ apartment, the roof of which serves as the space for a huge terrace. The ground floor of the Lančíksʼ apartment has a bay window with a folded strip window supported by piles, through which the architect also created a covered garden terrace. A staircase flowing from the clash of the two blocks connects the living areas with a carefully composed terraced garden.  

Each of the apartments has its own entrance with a hallway and entrance hall; together they only share the staircase, terraces, and garden. The hall on the ground floor of both apartments leads to individual rooms – in the case of the larger one, a kitchen, a pantry, a preparation room and a spacious room divided only by a beam of reinforced concrete construction with a sliding partition. Upstairs there are three bedrooms with access to the eastern terrace.

The Henik family villa is one of Pilcʼs finest works. Its qualities are comparable to the buildings of the Czechoslovak functionalist greats. The building, one of Přerovʼs former architectural landmarks, has been subjected to insensitive construction interventions in the past, as a result of  which it lost its pile-supported air space and roof terrace. Rehabilitation is still possible, but without the building being listed, this will have to be undertaken by an enlightened investor.

IM


Selected Literature

Ivana Láníková (Málková), Architekt Alois Pilc a Přerov, in: Jan Janák – Jan Jeništa – Klára Jeništová et al., Kapitoly z výtvarné kultury města Přerova:  Architektura, výtvarné realizace, design, Přerov 2016, pp. 24–37.

Martina Mertová, Vila Jindřicha Lančíka, in: Pavel Zatloukal (ed.), Slavné vily Olomouckého kraje, Brno 2011, pp. 137–138.

 

Sources

Ivana Láníková (Málková), Architekt Alois Pilc a Přerov. Architektura jako scéna (bachelor’s thesis), Katedra dějin umění FFUP, Olomouc 2015.

Ivana Láníková (Málková), Architekt Alois Pilc a Přerov. Architektonická centra a periferie (diploma thesis), Katedra dějin umění FFUP, Olomouc 2018.

Martina Horáčková, Architektura střední Moravy, 1918–1945: Přerov, Kroměříž, Bystřice pod Hostýnem, Holešov, Kojetín (diploma thesis), Katedra teorie a dějin výtvarných umění FFUP, Olomouc 2004.