Timeless Children’s House. Why do we love it so much?

ABRA Holding is housed in a building built between 1925 and 1929 in the Constructivist style. Architect Ludvík Kysela designed his masterpiece for Vzájemná pojišťovna Praha, but in 1950 it was transformed into the Children’s House. Those who were young then still nostalgically remember sweet strawberries with real whipped cream, the taste of Polar cake and fairy tales at the Sun Theatre. And those who wanted to, even recorded their own records there.

As the name of the style suggests, the author deliberately let the pure construction stand out. You’d think that’s pure functionalism… And in fact it is, but in the Russian rendition (it was in this country that Constructivism originated after 1918), it is a more dynamic (differentiation of floors, cascading articulation) alternative to European functionalism. Moreover, Kysela was also inspired by the United States, specifically the Chicago School. The most striking evidence is the so-called Chicago windows, which are divided and open upwards. In accordance with the original idea, there are shops with a distinctive window at the bottom and offices at the top, including ours:) And how do we like it here?

We have “settled” just below the roof, on the 8th floor, where we have a view of Petrin Hill and Prague Castle, we can also see the towers of Týn Cathedral and the Old Town Hall. And as if on the palm of our hand we have the golden crown perched on the very top of the Crown Palace. Suddenly, one perceives Prague from a new perspective.“
Jaroslav Řasa

CEO ABRA Holding

In the future, we plan to organize interesting creative meetings, so we will meet you soon in The Sun House, as we call it here internally!

Who was Ludvík Kysela?

The Czech architect (born in 1881 in Kourim) was initially influenced by Cubism (Cubist house no. 270 on the corner of Malostranské nám. and Karmelitská Street in Prague), later he designed mainly functionalist buildings in the city centre (Bata Palace, Lindt Department Store, U Stýblů Palace). His bold designs are technically sophisticated and, thanks to the generous use of glass, stand out for their airy elegance.

Kysela grew up in the capital from the age of ten, where he also studied architecture. He had six siblings, including the artist František Kysela (50 CZK note from 1922, stage designs for the Vinohrady and National Theatre). After the war, the architect’s creative possibilities were narrowed down to the curriculum of projects at the State Institute for Construction Design of the Capital City of Prague and in the Kovotechna company. He died in 1960 in Prague.