Apartment building of Margareta Herzog and Anna Nováková

This apartment building with its very unconventional facade is such an example of late historicist architecture that it ‘approaches the boundary of what was possible or acceptable at that time’, in the opinion of the architectural historian Pavel Zatloukal. He considers the building, dated to 1899 on the facade, to be the work of Vladimír Fischer, a relative novice at that time, but this seems improbable.
This apartment building was built on a narrow redeveloped plot in tall, narrow proportions with a vertically composed two-axis facade. The very unconventional facade is a kind of ‘open textbook of architecture’ or ‘a showcase of all architectural styles’ which are piled up into one bizarre whole. There is a Romanesque arched frieze, Gothic gargoyles, a Renaissance stepped gable and a niche with a conch, a Baroque statue of the Virgin Mary, Rococo shells, classicizing pilasters and antique ornament. The striking ‘sculpturality’ of the overblown decoration that covers virtually the whole of the facade gives the impression that the building is a sculptural rather than an architectural work.
The compositions of decorative motifs evoke an impression of random whimsy or ironic play with a variety of extracts from the past. Consequently, they are probably not a serious presentation of historical styles, but a kind of medley, ‘whose intention is merely to play and evoke the impression of antiquity […]. The facade of this building, in its ostentatious anti-functionality, illogicality, compositional and literary overload, is a romantic lark, a fairy-tale retrospective on the departing era of historicism.” Similarly bizarre facades that push the boundaries of the architecture of late historicism can be found in Brno, primarily in the work of Germano Wanderley and his pupils.
The family name of the owners of the building (Herzog) is indicated by the capital letter H in the gable of the portal. There are certain valuable details of the interior that are worthy of attention, such as the stucco decoration of the hallway, with its dominant feature of the fairy-tale motif of large sculptural owls, and the decorative metal staircase railing.
The house underwent a sensitive restoration and is well preserved on the outside. It still functions as an apartment building and the commercial ground floor space has been sensitively adapted.


Apartment building of Margareta Herzog and Anna Nováková


Apartment building

Kapucínské náměstí 310/12, (Město Brno), Brno, Střed

Public transport
Hlavní nádraží (TRAM 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12)

49°11'31.0"N 16°36'35.9"E

Pavel Zatloukal, Brněnská architektura 1815–1915. Průvodce, Brno 2006, p. 139