Jan Kotěra (18 December 1871 – 17 April 1923) was a Czech architect, artist and interior designer, and one of the key figures of modern architecture in Bohemia.

Jan Kotěra
Jan Kotera 1914 Bufka.png
1923 portrait by Vladimír Jindřich Bufka
Born18 December 1871
Died17 April 1923(1923-04-17) (aged 51)
Known forArchitecture


Kotěra was born in Brno, the largest city in Moravia, to a Czech father and German-speaking mother. He studied architecture in Vienna during the waning days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire under the Viennese master Otto Wagner.[1]

Kotěra returned to Prague in 1897 to help found a dynamic movement of Czech nationalist artists and architects centered on the Mánes Union of Fine Arts. Strongly influenced by the work of the Vienna Secession, his work bridged late nineteenth-century architectural design and early modernism. Kotěra collaborated with Czech sculptors Jan Štursa, Stanislav Sucharda, and Stanislav's son Vojtěch Sucharda on a number of buildings.

As a teacher, Kotěra trained a generation of Czech architects, including Josef Gočár, who would bring Czech modernism to its pinnacle in the years leading up to the Nazi occupation in 1939. Kotěra was one of a number of Czech architects to design the "Bata houses" and Bata shoe factory at East Tilbury, Essex, England.[2] These are considered Modernist landmarks of industry and a company town.




  1. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus, Sir James Maude Richards & Dennis Sharp (2000). The anti-rationalists and the rationalists, Architectural Press, p. 106. ISBN 0-7506-4815-5
  2. ^ Rose, Steve (2006-06-19). "Steve Rose: on East Tilbury the most Modern town in Britain". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  3. ^ Jan Kotěra, 1871-1923:the founder of modern Czech architecture. Municipal House. 2001. ISBN 9788086217475.
  4. ^ Cultural Movement Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Foibos.cz, retrieved 4 November 2013

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