Ferdinand Lederer


Ferdinand Lederer, a Brno native and a specialist in steel and timber constructions, was born on 12 December 1906. He studied civil engineering at the Czech College of Technology in Brno, where he received the PhD degree in 1934 and where he taught from the start of his academic career. In his lifetime, Ferdinand Lederer worked as a teacher at a number of secondary technical schools and universities such as the State Building School (1942–1946), the Slovak College of Technology in Bratislava (1946–1953) and the VUT Brno, where he was active for over two decades, first in 1953–1963 and then in 1968–1971 as the head of the Institute for Steel and Timber Constructions.
Apart from lecturing and publishing activities, Ferdinand Lederer also devoted himself to practical work. For the Brno exhibition centre he created, together with other architects, designs for pavilions C and Z. The three-storey Pavilion C built in 1958–1959 and designed in collaboration with Miloš Matiovský is crowned with a cupola with vaulting of glazed lunettes. The exhibition centre panorama is dominated by the rounded cupola of Pavilion Z, co-designed by Zdeněk Alexa, Zdeněk Denk, Zdeněk Pospíšil and Milan Steinhauser. The pavilion provided modern variable facilities while at the same time epitomising the current progress in technology. This striking technical structure of a monumental scale (the cupola’s perimeter is nearly 100 metres and the pavilion was in its time the largest exhibition building in Czechoslovakia) presents a perfect example of a creative application of a steel frame which, through spiral-shaped tubes in a regular geometrical pattern, arches the main space, providing its interior with extraordinary lightness, delicacy and maximum light. Ferdinand Lederer had employed the assembled tube frame back in the 1960s in the roofing of the ice-hockey stadium in the sports complex behind the Lužánky park, built almost two decades earlier and pulled down in 2008.
Ferdinand Lederer died on 24 April 1990 aged 84, and is buried in the Central Cemetery, Brno.