Konrád Hruban


The constructor and civil engineer Konrád Jaroslav Hruban came from Dubany in Moravia where he was born on 25 November 1893. He studied civil engineering at the Czech Technical College in Prague, graduating in 1916. Five years later he also earned a PhD degree there. After working briefly in Prague with the Prague Concrete Company, he moved to Brno where he found a job with the General Building Company in 1922, and two years later became its director.

Konrád Hruban was one of the most erudite specialists in this country in the field of construction technologies, especially concrete, thin-walled and shell-type structures. His teaching, research and theoretical activities were crucial for the discipline. As a professor specialising in reinforced concrete structures he was active at the Czech Technical College in Brno where he lectured from 1937 and in 1946–1947 was the dean, and later in the Department of Concrete Structures and Bridges of the Czech Technical College in Prague (1953–1963). Konrád Hruban wrote a large number of specialist publications focused on the technological aspect of structures employed in architecture, which served as a study material for several generations of students; at the same time, he significantly expanded the existing knowledge of construction principles and limits in practice (Concrete Roofs with Short Shells, Concrete Structures, Design of Masonry Structures, Design of Concrete Structures after Degrees of Safety, and others).

   Hruban regularly dealt with the framework aspect of buildings designed by leading Czechoslovak architects, and the results of his work often counted with groundbreaking experiments. In 1948 he designed the roofing of a double-nave hall of a tannery in Otrokovice by the architect Vladimír Kubečka, by means of light, segmented reinforced-concrete shells four metres wide, steamed during the construction for the first time in the history of Czech building. In the same period, Hruban with Bohuslav Fuchs designed the platform of the bus station opposite the Grand Hotel in Brno, with a roof in the form of corrugated concrete shells.

   Konrád Hruban’s scientific work and construction activities were awarded a number of prizes (Gold Medal of the ČVUT Prague and the VUT Brno, State Prize in 1953). He died on 26 April 1977 in Prague, aged 83.