Post-war history The Villa was repurposed in 1951-1952 as a base for youths and Pioneers, a type of scouting organization. However, this meant that the interior and exterior ended up radically compromised, which was compounded by a new road running past the front of the Villa, thereby destroying a large section of the former garden. Today, Kotěra’s architectural legacy is only visible in the essential elegance he lent the Villa’s structure. In addition, unfortunate city planning decisions over the decades also meant little attention was paid to the building practically and theoretically. In spite of this, its architecture remains distinct in many aspects. Aesthetic influences The fact is that the architect applied elements of traditionalism and well-established principles: the motif of an attractive courtyard – symmetrical, horizontally oriented and traditional; a somewhat nostalgic manor house made out of unusual materials, topped off with a spire, and with interiors furnished by artisans, reflecting geometric conventions that have long endured. Therefore, it would not appear to break any moulds, but essentially express a blend of the old with the new. However, Jan Kotěra did not just passively adhere to traditional conventions, as may be at first surmised. In order to explain this, it is necessary to examine the circumstances of the time in more detail. In the early 20th century, a new wave was present in architecture in Central Europe and elsewhere – neoclassicism, which had been born out of fatigue with the contemporary trend, i.e. a sudden and radical departure from tradition. Consequently, there was a need was to cling to longer established conventions. Nevertheless, this look back to the past was influenced by new architects arriving on the scene, these being creators of monumental structures (general constructions, or for public competitions) or of more traditional nature (extensive summer holiday resorts). This is most visible in Prague, where the Mánes group principally focused on sculpture that was informed by changes in contemporary French sculpture (mainly E. A. Bourdelle and A. Maillol). These drew on notions of classical ideals and ancient Greece, opposing the styles of impressionism and symbolism. Even the art world was not even immune to such stylistic tendencies. Architecturally, it was a time of rediscovery. An organization entitled The Club of Old Prague endeavoured to protect historical properties, hence provincial and country houses gained in importance – much like in contemporary Vienna – in the first half of the 19th century. Furthermore, the Biedermeier period had proven widely influential. In 1908, Prague’s Jubilee Exhibition became a show-piece for the new interpretation of classicism. One key feature was the Trade Pavilion, a structure created by J. Kotěra and his colleagues P. Janák, J. Gočár and J. Štursa, as well as an industrial school building, designed by Kotěra’s students at the College of Industrial Arts. Indeed, contemporary to this time, Kotěra’s erstwhile schoolfellow from the Viennese Academy, Josef Hoffman, was overseeing the Neo-classicist Viennese Exhibition. Kotěra went on to further develop his concepts, examples being the Prague Mozarteum, Bianca Villa and Viennese Lemberg Palace, but the highpoint of pre-war Czech neoclassicism was undoubtedly the Mandelík Chateau in Radboř, while his last architectural design was the Department of Law at Charles University. Even though most Viennese and German artists were following a direct path towards neoclassicism, Czech tendencies were informed by the preceding centuries, when classicist motifs had failed to gain traction. Consequently, stylistic principles adhered to a transformation of its general concepts, or – as in the case of Prague cubism – experimentation resulted in interesting forms coming about through the partial assimilation of other trends.