House of Trade Unions

Photos: Vladimír Lacena, OHP

Address: nám. Winstona Churchilla 1800/2, Praha 3
Year: 1932–1934
Architects: Karel Honzík and Josef Havlíček

The House of Trade Unions has been built where the Prague Municipal Gasworks once was. One of the first hot air balloon flights took place here in Winston Churchill Square. However, the original gasworks was as a result of modernization demolished and Prague’s first skyscraper – the palace of General Pension Institute – grew in its place. Although the urban regulatory requirements in the time demanded a block plan, a cross floor plan construction was built, which, due to the lining ceramic plates was nicknamed as “kachlíkárna/tile house”. Besides the fact that the northern and western wings should have eight floors each, and the eastern and southern wings have thirteen, the building was unique in its time for its cost, which amounted to more than 60 million crowns. The building, equipped with very modern and sophisticated ventilation and cooling systems, held 700 offices and two adjacent wings that served residential purposes. In 1951, the entire pension system according to Party decisions was transferred to the Czechoslovak unions and since then, the building served the Central Council of Trade Unions and later the Revolutionary trade union movement. Today, the building is the seat of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions.