Otakar Novotny was a Czech architect, designer and professor at the Academy of Arts. He born in Benesov, as one in four children in the family notary. Between 1894 - 1898 he studied at the architectural department of State Higher Technical School in Prague. In the last year (1897-1898) he had a summer job at the Josef Schulz studio in the construction of buildings of Decorative Arts. In the years 1898 -1900 he was an assistant on State Higher Technical School in Brno. Between 1900 -1903 he studied at the School of Applied Arts in Prague under mentorship of Jan Kotera. In 1904 he was the chief architect of Kotera's studio. In 1902 he became a member of the Association of Fine Artists. He was a member of The Manes Association since 1902. From 1913 to 1915 and from 1920 to 1931 was also president of the association. Since 1929 he became a full professor of architecture at the National School of Applied Arts in Prague. From 1935 -1937 he was also rector of the school. He retired in 1941. He died on 4 April 1959 in Prague.
There was a big influence of his teacher Jan Kotera on his buildings. In this period he created the house of Dr. J. Zizka, the summer residence of the director Riemer on Lake Wolfgang at St. Gilgen and a villa for publisher John Otto on Zbraslavi.
He was later influenced by Hendrik Petrus Berlage because of his trip to the Netherlands in 1908. This period is defined with modernist buildings, like Stencuv house or gymnasium in Holice and in Rakovnik.
In the twenties he returned to his favorite material - gray brick. The most outstanding work from this period is the construction of the Manes Exhibition Hall in Prague.
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