Josef Gočár (13 March 1880, Semín near Přelouč–10 September 1945, Jičín), was a Czech architect, one of the founders of modern architecture in Czechoslovakia. Gočár received his early instruction at the State Technical School in Prague. At the age of 23 he went to study under Jan Kotěra at the Prague School of Applied Arts. For two years afterward, 1906–1908, Gočár was employed by Kotěra's studio. At that time he decided to join the Mánes Union of Fine Arts, but left it in 1911 to join the Cubist Group of Visual Artists. Gočár joined Pavel Janák, Josef Chochol and Odoln Grege in founding the Prague Art Workshops in 1912. In 1924, following the death of Kotěra, Gočár became a professor at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts.
Gočár is one of the most outstanding Czech architects and one of the founders of modernist architecture at the First Republic of Czechoslovakia. His talent was fully exposed in Cubism and Rondocubism styles – some Gočár’s projects became programme examples for these styles. House of the Black Madonna (1911-1912) in Prague was the first sample of this innovative architectural style, which now accommodates the Cubism Museum. Another building in Prague – Building of Legiobanka – one of the key rondocubist objects. In 1924. After Kotěra’s death, Josef Gočár was appointed to the position of professor of the Fine Arts Academy in Prague, and in 1928, he was elected a Principal of this institution. He worked at this position until 1932. In 1930s, this genius architect creates a number of remarkable projects in functionalist style. St. Wenceslas Church (1929-1930) is one of the most famous functionalist sacred buildings.
After his involvement in cubism, Gočár turned to "national" Czech Rondocubism style in the early 1920s. Later on he adopted the Functionalist approach to architecture. Among his greatest accomplishments is the Czechoslovak Pavilion for the 1925 Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes in Paris. He was awarded the Grand Prize for that design. In 1926 Gočár was awarded the Ordre de la Légion d'honneur. In 2000 was acknowledged the most prominent figure of Czech architecture of the 20th century.
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