Josef Gocar (13 March 1880, Semin near Prelouc-10 September 1945, Jicin), was a Czech architect, one of the founders of modern architecture in Czechoslovakia. Gocar received his early instruction at the State Technical School in Prague. At the age of 23 he went to study under Jan Kotera at the Prague School of Applied Arts. For two years afterward, 1906-1908, Gocar was employed by Kotera's studio. At that time he decided to join the Manes Union of Fine Arts, but left it in 1911 to join the Cubist Group of Visual Artists. Gocar joined Pavel Janak, Josef Chochol and Odoln Grege in founding the Prague Art Workshops in 1912. In 1924, following the death of Kotera, Gocar became a professor at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts.
Gocar 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 Gocar'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 Kotera's death, Josef Gocar 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, Gocar 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 decoratifs et industriels modernes in Paris. He was awarded the Grand Prize for that design. In 1926 Gocar was awarded the Ordre de la Legion d'honneur. In 2000 was acknowledged the most prominent figure of Czech architecture of the 20th century.
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