Apartment of the family of Oskar Semler (1931–1934)
Klatovská 110, Pilsen
Semler Residence is the only place in Pilsen that features the landmark principle of Adolf Loos’s architecture, the famous Raumplan. Although Adolf Loos probably produced only the initial spatial concept of this apartment and detailed plans were later elaborated by his pupil Heinrich Kulka, Semler Residence can be considered the highlight of Loos’s activity in Pilsen. It is the only apartment that is made of several layers and thus resembles strongly the famous Villa Müller in Prague which preceded its construction. In contrast to it, Semler Residence was built into an existing
The first part of the residence has been made open to the public in the autumn of 2015 and additional restoration is still in progress. In future, Centre for Research of Pilsen Region Architecture” will be established here.
The guided tours for public are managed and arranged by the “Pilsen – TOURISM” organisation. Semler Residence constitutes the third guided tour within the Loos Interiors in Pilsen. www.adolfloosplzen.cz
Opening hours (tickets need to be bought beforehand!)
- April – October: Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at designated times
- November – March: Thursday and Saturday at designated times
- English and German tours are available at selected times
- no tours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
The guided tour of Semler Residence takes approximately an hour.
Please book your tickets online at www.adolfloosplzen.cz.
Tickets can also be bought the Information Centre at the main square (náměstí Republiky 41 – open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., from April to October to 7 p.m.).
Maximum number of visitors for one guided tour is 10 people.
Note: the guided tour is not barrier-free.
Full admission: 140 CZK
Reduced admission: 90 CZK (children and students 6–26 years of age, senior citizens over 65 years, ZTP/P)
Extra fee for guide in foreign language: 50 CZK
Full admission: 1050 CZK.
Reduced admission: 650 CZK (children and students 6–26 years of age, senior citizens over 65 years, ZTP/P)
The exhibition Adolf Loos and Pilsen follows up on an exhibition Loos – Plzeň – Connections which was held at the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen in 2011. The eponymous book can be bought at Semler Residence (Czech-English edition).
The exhibition has been made possible by financial support of the Pilsen Region, www.turisturaj.cz
Information about other Loos interiors in the Czech Republic:
Klatovská 12 and Bendova 10 in Pilsen: www.adolfloosplzen.cz
Brummel House at Husova 58 in Pilsen: www.brummelhouse.cz
Müller in Prague: http://www.mullerovavila.cz/.
The apartment house surrounded by a garden on Klatovy Avenue No. 110 was constructed in the first half of the 1920s for clerks of the Škoda factory. In the early 1930s it was bought by Oskar and Jana Semler who turned part of the building into their new apartment between 1932 and 1934. The interior of the apartment was probably conceived by Adolf Loos himself. His original concept was further elaborated and realized by his disciple and collaborator, the architect Heinrich Kulka (Loos died in 1933). The adaptation of the part of the house resulted in the creation of a three-storied apartment, spatial layout of which very much resembles the Villa Müller in Prague that was completed shortly before the Semler apartment. The central space of the apartment is the two-storey hall adjacent to which are dwelling rooms such as a bar, a dining room, a library and a porch, respecting the system of Loos’s concept of space, the so-called Raumplan. Private rooms of the family were situated on the next floor and facility rooms and rooms inhabited by the staff were facing the courtyard.
The uniqueness and authenticity
The interior of the apartment ranks among the most valuable modern architecture landmarks in the Pilsen region. It represents the climax of the whole series of apartment interiors in Pilsen that were designed according to Adolf Loos’s principles on spatial layout. Although the Semler family had to leave the apartment in 1939 and in the following decades the apartment was divided into several small apartment units and a commercial space (the hall), the overall concept and rendering of many details have been preserved till today. The apartment is a unique work of architecture which is enlisted in the Cultural Heritage of the Czech Republic. The house is situated within the limits of the municipal historic reserve named Bezovka, which is very precious from the perspective of urbanism.
The multi-storey flat (based on the so-called “Raumplan”) is the completion of the collection of Adolf Loos designs of interiors made in Plzen between 1907 and 1932. It forms a unique counterpart to the famous Villa Müller in Prague, but this concept is different, as it virtually creates a “villa inside an existing house”.
Despite doubtful utilization during the second half of the 20th century and sometimes inadequate handling, the original interior is compact and in relatively good condition. The space concept has remained intact and the majority of interiors are equipped with original built-in cases, decorative details and unique technical equipment.
The history of the house and the house owners is very unique, too. Semler´s house was originally built in 1923 as a block of flats for officers of Škoda Industrial Works. In 1932 the Oskar Semler´s family bought the house and remodelled it for living and representative purposes. Oskar Semler was one of the most important local entrepreneurs in steel wire goods including very famous gramophone needles. In 1939 the family had to leave the country. The house was confiscated first by the Nazis and after 1945 by the Czechoslovakian state. After this the house has served as a block of flats and as a facility of Faculty of Medicine of the local university.