Josef Plecnik (1872-1957)


Josef Plecnik began his architectural training in the Vienna Academy in 1895 under the direction of Otto Wagner (1841-1918). Plecnik's thesis project won him the Rome Scholarship, allowing him to travel in Italy and France in 1898-99. He continued to work for Wagner, as well as on his own projects, until 1911, when he moved to Prague, where he taught at the School of Applied Arts. An example of his work in Vienna is the Church of the Holy Spirit (1910-1913). In 1919 Plecnik was offered a full professorship in the Department of Architecture of the Faculty of Engineering at the newly founded University of Ljubljana, and the following year the President of the new Czechoslovak Republic asked him to work as the architect in charge of the restoration of Prague Castle, Hradcany. Among Plecnik's work on the many gardens at Hradcany is that of the Garden of the Bastion (1927-1932). One of his best known works in Ljubljana is the National University Library (1936-1941).

In their study of Plecnik, Alain Arvois and Cristina Conrad von Eybesfeld analyze the relationship between Plecnik and the "Wagnerschule" which developed under the influence of Otto Wagner, professor at the Academy in Vienna [CCI, pp. 21-30].

fig. 1: Otto Wagner, Project for Berlin Cathedral (1891).

In his reflections on the moral value of Plecnik's work, Francois Burkhardt frames Plecnik within the discourse of Modernism and Postmodernism, and refers to Charles Moore in passing [CCI, pp. 103-12].
fig. 2: Charles Moore, Piazza d'Italia (1977-1978).

Selected Projects

To view a project in more detail, click on the Illustration of the project.

fig. 3: Church of the Holy Spirit; fig. 4: Garden of the Bastion; fig. 5: Nat'l Univ. Library.

List of Illustrations

fig. 1: "Otto Wagner, projet de concours pour la cathedrale de Berlin, non realise (1891)." CCI, p. 25.
wagner01.GIF [bw, K]

fig. 2: "Charles Moore, Piazza d'Italia, la Nouvelle-Orleans, Etats-Unis (1977-1978)." CCI, p. 107.
moore01.GIF [bw, K]

fig. 3: "Hl.-Geist-Kirche in Wien, Krypta, (1910; Ausstattung 1911/12)." Prelovsek, pl. 34.
plecCHS00.GIF [co, 2.0x2.0, 26K].

fig. 4: "Universitaetsbibliothek in Laibach, (1936-1941)." Prelovsek, pl. 187.
plecLIB00.GIF [co, 2.0x2.0, 29K].

fig. 5: "Chateau de Prague, Baldaquin d'escalier (1930-1931)." CCI, portfolio section.
plecGAR00.GIF [bw, 2.0x2.0, 72K].


Ferlenga, Alberto and Sergio Polano. Joze Plecnik: Progetti e citta. Traduzioni Tania Wolf Bellotto. Milano: Electa, 1990.

Joze Plecnik, Architecte, 1872-1957. Ouvrage publie a l'occasion de l'exposition "Joze Plecnik, Architecte" produite par le Centre de Creation Industrielle et presentee de mars a mai 1986 dans la Galerie du CCI au Centre National d'Art et Culture Georges Pompidou a Paris. Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, Centre de Creation Industrielle, c1986.

Krecic, Peter. Plecnik: The Complete Works. New York, NY: Whitney Library of Design, 1993.

Prelovsek, Damjan. Josef Plecnik: 1872-1957, Architectura perennis. Aus dem Slowenischen von Dorothea Apovnik. Salzburg und Wein: Residenz Verlag, 1992.

Patrick A. George