Lidmila Švarcová

September 6, 1934, Plzeň – November 29, 2005, Liberec
architect, costume designer, scenographer

Lidmila Švarcová belongs to the circle of the Liberec-based Sial, one of the most progressive studios of the second half of the 20th century in Czechoslovakia. Although the list of her works is very long, surprisingly, her name appears only marginally in Sial overview publications and she lacks a biographical overview. Nevertheless, she is one of the founding members of the studio, alongside Miroslav Masák and Otakar Binar; she worked there throughout her life and worked her way up to her own large-scale commissions.

Švarcová joined Stavoprojekt Liberec under the direction of Karel Hubáček soon after graduating from the Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering (studio Šnajder) at the Czech Technical University in Prague in 1961. Her colleagues at that time were Miroslav Masák, Otakar Binar, Pavel Švancer, but also lesser known architects such as Zdena Freundová, Jarmila Beranová and Jiří Urban. In 1971 she joined the collective of together with Pavel Švancer and Eduard Adamíra. From 1981 she worked in the Sial studio, again under the direction of Karel Hubáček. Lidmila Švarcová was a member of the Union of Architects (1963–1971), but after 1971 she did not join the reorganized Union of Architects of the Czechoslovakia, which resulted in her absence from official professional periodicals and exhibitions. It was not until the 1980s that she participated in Sial exhibitions.

In the early years of her work, Lidmila Švarcová designed librettos, scenarios and exhibitions for the LVT (Liberec Trade Fairs), of textiles and fashion, together with Miroslav Masák and Otakar Binar. Their collaboration culminated in a competition for the concept and libretto for EXPO '67 in Montreal. As the team was unable to adequately amend the libretto, the commission failed and was eventually divided into the architecture of the pavilion and the design of the exhibition interiors authored by other architects. Lidmila Švarcová's interior designs from the first half of the 1960s include the interior of a shoe shop in Liberec, the interiors of book shops in Žatec and Louny and later in Železný Brod. The experience of international-style exhibition design is clearly evident, with lightweight, often suspended structures made of steel tubes combined with solidly crafted wooden counters and custom-made lighting fixtures. Švarcová designed the cinema hall in Doksy in the team of Karel Hubáček.

Since the 1970s, Švarcová has launched her own projects in Sial. She worked on a number of urban studies and reconstructions. She has mainly realised civic buildings (residential houses, senior citizens' homes, nursing homes and day nurseries) and public spaces since the 1980s. Among her best-known projects are the expressive glass pavilion in the park in Teplice adjacent to the new concert hall and the hospital for the long-term sick in Liberec. This widely published building was designed for a relatively unsuitable busy location near the city centre. Švarcová solved the situation with a composition of two side wings facing the quiet inner atrium. The entire neo-functionalist complex was raised on pilotis and thus did not present a barrier in public space. The inner park could also serve for passers-by. The crystalline glass pavilion of the spa colonnade in Teplice was in turn loosely inspired by Bruno Taut's pavilion at the 1914 exhibition of the German Werkbund.

Švarcová was also active as a scenographer from the late 1970s and early 1980s; her husband Jan Vančura was a painter and set designer. After 1990 she designed costumes for thirty performances, mainly for the F. X. Šalda in Liberec, but also for various other theatres in the Czech Republic. Among them was also an installation - an advertising banner of the Ještěd shopping centre from 1986 in the form of a sixteen-metre comic figure composed of two skeletons – a head with a peaked cap and a body with the company logo.

List of works

Projects and implementations

1960 – LVT, libretto and script for the exhibition of Pavilion A (with Miroslav Masák)

1960 – LVT, promotional graphics

1961 – LVT, realization of exhibitions 

1961 – school canteen at ZDŠ Odolenovice

1962 – interior of shoe shop, Liberec

1963 – interior of the cinema entrance hall, Doksy 

1965 – interior of book shop, Doksy

1965 – interior of bookstore, Louny

1966 – realization of the cinema, including the interior, Železný Brod

1968 – reconstruction of the basement of the castle, Libochovice

1968 – garden and courtyard of the gallery, Liberec

1970 – interior of the castle, Návarov

1970 – study of the reconstruction of the north side of Gottwald Square, Liberec

1971 – interior of the bookstore, Železný Brod

1971 – study of the reconstruction of the music school, Liberec, with Pavel Švancer

1971 – study of reconstruction of shops in Pražská Street, Liberec

1971 – study of the reconstruction of the centre, Žatec

1973 – study of reconstruction of parks, Liberec

1974 – wedding hall, Semily

1974 – interior of the wedding hall, Tanvald

1974 – interior of the meeting hall, Tanvald

1976 – interior of the Young Farmers Club, Zlatá Olešnice

1976 – study of the reconstruction of the Luční bouda

1977 – study of the secondary school, Jablonec nad Nisou

1978 – study of the interior of the shopping centre, Jablonec nad Nisou

1978 – Park on Czech Brothers square, Liberec

1978 – interior of a wedding hall, Nová Paka

1978 – study of the design of the square of the Fighters for Peace, Liberec

1979 – interior of the House of Culture, Semily

1980 – kindergarten and nursery, Česká Lípa

1980 – kindergarten and nursery, Jablonec nad Nisou

1980 – nursery, Varnsdorf

1980–1985 – residential houses and civic amenities in a housing estate, Jablonec nad Nisou

1982 – study of a residence in the diplomatic quarter of Troja

1985–1987 – hospital for the long-term sick, Liberec

1986 – advertising banner of the Ještěd shopping centre

1986–1987 – interior of a cinema, Doksy

1986–1987 – project of the pioneer camp Březinka, including the interior

1987 – study of the centre of Tanvald

1987–1988 – study of the reconstruction of the house on Castle Square, Teplice

1987–1990 – study and project for reconstruction of a house in Náchodská Street, Liberec

1988 – spa park and pavilion, Teplice

1988–1989 v study and project of the footbridge at the Church of St. John the Baptist, Teplice

1988–1990 – study and project of reconstruction of the west wing of the castle, Teplice

1989 – study of the casino. Liberec

1989 – study of the Diplomat's Villa, Prague-Břevnov

1990 – reconstruction and extension of the nursing home, Tatobity

1990-1991 – study and realization of the reconstruction of nám. Dr. Edvard Beneš, Liberec

1990 – garden at the hotel, Poděbrady, with Karel Hubáček

1990 – study and project of reconstruction of shops, Hradec Králové

1990 – retirement home, Tatobity

1990 – study of the reconstruction of the basement of a house on Sokolovské náměstí, Liberec

1991 – study of the home for mentally handicapped children 1 and 2, Liberec-Harcov

1991 – General plan of the North Bohemian Botanical Garden

1991 – architectural study of the development of a part of Hronov

1991–1992 – zoning plan of the Krásný dvůr housing estate, with Jarmila Beranová

1992 – study of bank reconstruction, Frýdlant

1992 – Hotel Libverda INN

1992 – study of bank reconstruction, Teplice

1993 – reconstruction of the Central Hotel, Dvůr Králové

1993 – study of the Long Term Ill Hospital, Phase II, Liberec

1993 – study and project of the bank, Teplice

1993–1994 – project for the reconstruction of Villa Preciosa, Jirkov

1993 – competition for the ambassador's villa, Bratislava

1994 – competition for a retirement home, Hronov

1994 – competition for the reconstruction of a house in Čechova Street, Teplice

1994 – colour solution for the facades of Preciosa, Jirkov

1994 – study of a house, Hronov

1994 – advertisements and accessories of the Commercial Bank, Liberec

1994 – project for the buffet of the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec, Czech Republic


1965 – Libretto for the Czechoslovak Pavilion at EXPO 67 in Montreal, with Miroslav Masák, Otakar Binar

1981 – II. national show of scenography, Opava

1983 – work of the Sial studio

1983 – Prague Quadrennial

1986 – Atelier Sial 2, West Berlin

1987 – Atelier Sial 2, Bauhaus Dessau

1987 – Atelier Sial 2, Prague

1990 – Prague, Emmaus

1990 – scenic designs for the works of Bohuslav Martinů, Prague, Klementinum

1991 – Dvořák's Nelahozeves, Central Bohemia Gallery

1991 – Stadt v Theater, St. Gallen, with Jan Vančura

1991–1992 – Czech Dissident Drama, Berlin, Vancouver


1958, Czech Technical University in Prague, Ing. arch.


1958–1961, Agroprojekt Liberec (architectural designer)

1961–1981, Stavoprojekt Liberec / Sial (architectural designer)

1981–, Stavoprojekt Liberec / Sial (architectural designer)

Personal ties
Jan Vančura – husband
Professional ties
Karel Hubáček (1961–) – colleague
Miroslav Masák (1961–) – colleague
Eduard Adamíra (1971–) – colleague
Pavel Švancer (1971–) – colleague
Otakar Binar (1961–) – colleague
Jiří Špikla – colleague

Author of the record: HHD