The Red Houses
One of the possible solutions to the housing crisis after the end of World War I was the concept of collective living. This innovative idea was introduced to the Czech public by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk in his lectures on American collective and apartment buildings in 1905. However, it truly took shape in the early 1920s when a complex of nine rental buildings was created according to the design by architect Rudolf Hrabět. The “Red Houses” were originally intended for workers, offering them a collective dining room, nursery, kindergarten, and gymnasium. However, a significant portion of the apartments ended up being occupied by office workers who found the low worker’s standard of living unsuitable. This may have been an unsuccessful attempt at housing collectivization, but it remains an architecturally valuable construction in the Rondocubist style, characterized by the use of red and ochre colors, intricate facade detailing, and prominent projecting cornices and pilasters. The brick fencing, which creates a unified whole, is also architecturally significant. In terms of interiors, the original Rondocubist decoration has been preserved mainly in the common areas of the buildings, such as the staircases with geometrically designed railings.