The “Nad Smetankou” (“Above Smetanka”) sketch was created by the architect Ladislav Lábus in 1997, two years after he began working on a partial renovation of the Na Smetance house. The superstructure on the roof of the house seemed like utopia in that context.
The idea captured in the sketch eighteen years ago has become a reality; the contemporary corner of the superstructure is completed by this house of high functionalism. Ladislav Lábus has connected the original high-quality building from the 1930s with an expression of modern living. What more can we wish for the Na Smetance house? Perhaps only that it is used by tenants who feel this uniqueness.
Zuzana Meisnerová Wismer, Rolf Wismer, owners
Visualisation – superstructure
A word by the architect, prof. Ladislav Lábus
The functionalist residential house on the corner of Italská Street and Na Smetance Street in Prague 2 was completed in 1938, based on a design by the architect Jaroslav Vančura. When working on the project of the current form, we could use our extensive experience in renovation of functionalist buildings – Edison’s distribution substations and villas (Palička in Baba and Lída Baarová’s villa in Hanspaulka), as well as in a number of partial reconstructions of the Na Smetance house (since 1995).
During the complete reconstruction connected with the completion of the open superstructure on the roof of the retreating storey and garages in the basement, the tendencies applied in the previously completed renovations of the flats in this house were followed. In addition to an increase in the number of rooms by creating second bedrooms, the layout changes particularly involve a direct spatial interconnection of the inner residential halls with the main residential room, which fundamentally changes the standard of the flats and doubles the original size of the living rooms. The functionalist building and its renovation offer a high standard of space, sanitary equipment and products, including kitchens. This does not only apply to the flats, but also to the internal communications in the house – the stone-faced entrance hall and spacious staircase, directly lit by the corner glass wall. The standard of the house and all the flats is enhanced by the exceptional external conditions of the corner plot.
The corner location of the building directly opposite the entrance to the Rieger Orchards and its proximity to the city centre create exceptionally attractive conditions for living. The potential of the plot is fully utilized by the flats in the original functionalist house whose rooms offer views of the park as well as of more distant northern parts of Prague, thanks to the horizontal strip windows across the whole width of the room. Naturally, this is fully reflected in the flats and terraces of the reduced storey, and especially in three flats in the superstructure, with open views from every room and from the spacious residential terraces to all directions, including views of the historic centre of Prague, Petřín and Hradčany.
The openness of the functionalist floor plans and contemporary flats in the superstructure is in line with the openness of the adjacent area – with the generosity of the Rieger Orchards.
Arch. Prof. Ladislav Lábus (1951)
He worked in the Project Institute of the Capital of Prague, in Ateliér Delta; from 1986 as chief designer. Since 1990 he has been a lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech Technical University in Prague. In 1991 he founded his own architectural studio, AA Lábus. In 2002 he was appointed professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech Technical University in Prague and since February 2014 he is a dean at this university. In 2014 he won the Ministry of Culture award for architecture.
Renovations and constructions (selection):
Langhans Palace, 2002
Palička’s villa, 2003
Edison’s distribution substation, 2007
Prague Castle’s Riding School, 2007
Český Krumlov Nursing Service Home, 1997
Karlov Hotel, Benešov, 2008
Family houses and villas(selection):
Podbaba – Prague, 2004
Hájek – Prague, 2015.
Zuzana Meisnerová Wismer (1956)
FAMU graduate, director of documentary films, gallerist (Langhans Gallery Prague), coordinator of the preservation of the Langhans Archive, admirer of all professions in construction.
Since 1995 – collaboration with the architect Lábus in the renovation of the Na Smetance house, 1996–2002 – project, preparation, renovation of the Langhans Palace.
Rolf Wismer (1945)
hotel manager, coordinator of social projects in gastronomy, gallerist (Langhans Gallery Prague), admirer of art and architecture, Swiss with affection for the Czech Republic.
Flat No. 19