This is a new feature that I am adding to my blog profiling the life and work of well known and perhaps lesser known architects. Plecnik is not well known in the United States and hardly mentioned other than in the history classes of architecture schools; all of his work is confined to his home country of Slovenia and the cities of Prague and Vienna. However his work has steadily been wining more converts as more people visit the former Soviet Bloc countries and see his buildings first hand.
Plecnik lived from 1872 to 1957 and was considered part of the Vienna Secession movement that was at its height at the turn of the century. The Vienna Secession movement was a modernist reaction against art nouveau (the sinuous style promulgated by the likes of Mucha and Macintosh in favor of more blocky forms that embraced technology and modern materials. Of all the buildings that Plecnik designed in his lifetime the most memorable was probably his unbuilt scheme for the parliament building in his home town and the capitol of Slovenia Ljubljana. The scheme may remind a laymen of the Travelocity Roaming Gnome from the building’s pointed dome.
All architects have signature elements that define their work. Plecnik was known for his use of columns on his building. The column was his favorite architectural element. The photos below showcase the types of columns created for his buildings.
As much as Plecnik was tied with Otto Wagner and the Vienna Secessionist movement, Plecnik’s own style evolved into something more traditional, one might say Neoclassical. His campanile and covered market are both highly classical in style and proportion as was his scheme for Prague castle recreating the columns from a Greek Temple inside the castle.
Plecnik also designed furniture and other decorative elements in addition to his work as an architect and city planner. Below are a few examples of his furniture.