Jiřina Loudová Polánková

March 10, 1928, České Budějovice – September 19, 2022, Praha
architect, architecture theorist, writer

Jiřina Loudová (née Polánková or Polanková, spellings vary) was born in 1928 in České Budějovice. It is unknown where she studied at the grammar school from which she graduated in 1944. Her mother married for the second time to Jaroslav Dvořáček, who worked as an architect/designer in Prague, and since Loudová later mentioned him as her stepfather, the marriage and the move to Prague may have taken place during her youth. Later Loudová studied at the Higher Industrial School of Construction in Prague and in 1948 finished her studies there with another graduation and a construction exam.

The first few years of Jiřina Loudová's professional career remain a question. She did not report any employment before the year 1955 when she joined the State Project Institute for the Construction of Towns and Villages (formerly Stavoprojekt). Jiřina Loudová worked here alongside her husband, architect Jiří Louda, among others. In her own words, she had the opportunity to spend her "apprenticeship years" in "a quality team working together on tasks that by their nature gave rise to thinking about the nature, meaning and purpose, and style of architectural creation" (Architektura ČSSR, XLVII 1988, p. 15). In 1958, the two were transferred to concern Konstruktiva allegedly as a result of political vetting, but further cooperation between Jiří Louda and Karel Filsak, Karel Bubeníček and Jan Šrámek for example on projects of embassy buildings in Beijing and Brazil, was not disrupted. Jiřina Loudová, on the other hand, was motivated by the stimulating environment to complete her architectural education. Due to her previous professional education and practical experience, she was in 1959 easily admitted to the Special School of Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts run by Jaroslav Fragner at the time. In the second year of her studies, she won the main prize for her coursework in architecture and in 1962 she completed her studies with honours, excellent grades and enthusiastic reviews of her diploma project for the administrative building of the Lenin's factories in Prague. In the academic year 1962/1963 she was allowed a so-called honorary year of study at the Academy, for which she set as her programme the study of the Czechoslovak embassies in Geneva, London and Brasilia, referring to the fact that these were also her closest work assignments in Jan Šrámek's studio at Konstruktiva. The only known realization in which Jiřina Loudová took part – the interior of the Czechoslovakian embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, on which she collaborated with Jan Šrámek and Zbyněk Hřivnáč, dates to this period. As part of the honorary year, Loudová also applied for support to travel to Japan to deepen her understanding of the development of Japanese architecture, on which she intended to further theoretically elaborate. It is not clear, whether she received the support to make the trip.

However, her interest gradually turned more towards theoretical work and to this end she continued her studies. From 1963 to 1965 she studied aesthetics at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University and in 1965 she took up an internal postgraduate position again with Fragner at the Academy of Fine Arts. She transferred to Oldřich Stefan as her tutor in 1967, yet soon after in the autumn of the same year Jiřina Loudová interrupted her studies and went on a study stay at the Technical University (Technische Hochschule) in Graz, Austria. During her studies, she worked in local architectural offices. She stayed abroad for two years instead of the one year planned and completed her studies with a dissertation regarding applying methodology derived from linguistics in architecture (Beitrag zu Einer Semantik der Architektur / Contribution to the Semantics of Architecture). She left her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts unfinished and after returning to Czechoslovakia she joined the Research Institute of Construction and Architecture, where she worked as a researcher for the next twenty years. In her publications, she first focused on the possibilities of applying semantics and semiotics in general to the study and evaluation of architecture. The period of her interest in architectural semantics culminated in her second doctoral dissertation defended at the Czech Technical University in Prague in 1976, in which she applied the semantic method practically to the analysis of the Church of St. Charles Borromeo in Vienna. 

In the following five years, she returned to the Academy of Fine Arts, this time as an assistant professor at the School of Architecture. In addition to assigning and consulting on student work, she also taught the course Concepts of Contemporary Architecture regularly, and from 1980 she also supervised postgraduate students. In the 1980s, she began to focus her research work mainly on the problems of housing construction, its quality, planning possibilities, and subsequently on the question of regeneration of housing stock in historic buildings, in the expectation that it was in these areas that theory could be of benefit to architectural practice. After the 1989 revolution, Jiřina Loudová founded a private consulting firm, where she continued to use her erudition, for example, in cooperation with state programmes for the restoration of villages and the regeneration of urban conservation areas.

Architecture was Jiřina Loudová's main interest and she devoted herself with great dedication to her work in this field. She decided to devote herself primarily to theory, yet her extensive and elaborate work, perhaps because of its thematic focus and demanding language she used, or because of little interest in theory in general, has so far been outside the scope of professional attention.


Archiv AVU [Archive of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague], NAD 4, Jiřina Loudová – karta studenta, studentská složka, aspirantská složka Kt 167, zaměstnanecká složka Kt 170 [student card, student file, aspirant file Kt 167, employee file Kt 170]; Zápisy o státních závěrečných zkouškách šk. r. 1961/2 K 41/5.

-zč-, Otázky pro… Akad. arch. dr. Jiřinu Loudovou, CSc., a Ing. arch. Jiřího Loudu, Architektura ČSSR XLVII 1988, č. 4, s. 15–16.

Redakce nakladatelství Kdo je kdo [Editors of Who's Who Publishing House], Kdo je kdo 91/92: Česká republika, federální orgány ČSFR, Díl 1. A–M, Praha 1991, s. 550–551.

Jiřina Loudová, Politika bydlení v procesu regenerace chráněných území našich měst [Housing policy in the process of regeneration of protected areas of our cities], VÚVA, Praha 1994.

Olga Machatá – Marek Němec – Michael Třeštík, Kdo je kdo v České republice 94–95, Praha 1994, s. 331–332.

RS [Radomíra Sedláková], heslo: Louda, Jiří, in: Anděla Horová (ed.), Nová encyklopedie českého výtvarného umění, sv. 1, Praha 1995, s. 457.

RŠ [Rostislav Švácha], heslo: Šrámek, Jan, in: Anděla Horová (ed.), Nová encyklopedie českého výtvarného umění, sv. 2, Praha 1995, s. 839.

Michael Třeštík, Kdo je kdo v České republice na přelomu 20. století, Praha 1998, s. 352.

Michael Třeštík, Kdo je kdo. Architektura, Praha 2000, s. 92, 153.

Pozůstalost Jiřiny Loudové. [The Estate of Jiřina Loudová.]

Osobní rozhovor Barbory Řepkové se Zdenkou Aulickou [Personal interview of Barbora Řepková with Zdenka Aulicka (friend and colleague of Jiřina Loudová)], Praha, 25. 10. 2022.

List of works

Works and projects

19611966  the interior of the Czechoslovakian embassy, Sofia, Bulgaria, with Jan Šrámek and Zbyněk Hřivnáč, the author of the building is Gustav Paul

1964  a study of the CSA transit hotel, Prague

1965  a competition proposal for the new design of the main railway station and its surroundings, Prague, with Jiří Louda and Ivan Skálá, VI. prize


[originally Czech titles were translated for informative purposes]

Jiřina Loudová, Regional planning in the GDR, Architektura ČSR XXVII, 1968, No. 3, pp. 185190.

Marie Benešová  Jiřina Loudová  Jana Guthová, World Exhibitions in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Architektura ČSR XXX, 1970, No. 8, pp. 345354.

Jiřina Loudová, Contribution to the analysis of the semantic function of architecture, Estetika, 1970, No. 4, pp. 271292.

Jiřina Loudová, Semiotics and architecture, Architektura ČSR XXXIII, 1973, No. 3, pp. 149-150.

Jiřina Loudová, On the question of the use of semiotics in the theory and aesthetics of architecture, Výstavba a architektura, 1975, No. 8.

Jiřina Loudová, On the Question of the Application of Industrial Design in Architecture, Architektura ČSR XXXV, 1976, No. 5, pp. 149150.

Jiřina Loudová, Creating and protecting the beauty of the environment, Tvorba, 1977, No. 14, p. 5.

Jiřina Loudová, Traditions of Japanese Aesthetics, Nový orient XXXIII, 1978, No. 3, pp. 8689.

Jiřina Loudov  Michal Beneš, Semantic differential from the point of view of the methodology of architectural evaluation, Architektura ČSR XXXVII, 1978, No. 1, pp. 4446.

Jiřina Loudová, Artwork in Architecture, Architektura ČSR XXXVII, 1978, No. 5, pp. 198204.

Jiřina Loudová, Methods of designing perspective standards of housing construction in Czechoslovakia, Architektura ČSR XLI, 1982, No. 5, p. 235.

Jiřina Loudová, On the question of increasing the social efficiency of typification in housing construction, Architektura ČSR XLII, 1983, No. 8, pp. 348349.

Jiřina Loudová, Postmodernism  Reality and Myth, Architektura ČSR XLIII, 1984, No. 4, pp. 153157.

Jiřina Loudová, Current Issues of Urban Transformation of Small Towns, Architektura ČSR XLIII, 1984, No. 5, pp. 227230 (section VÚVA).

Jiřina Loudová, Modelling the quality of new dwellings in houses prepared for construction in the Czechoslovak Republic for the period 1990–2010, Architektura ČSR XLIII, 1984, No. 10, pp. 475478 (VÚVA section).

Jiřina Loudová, A question mark over the function of the Dům bytové kultury department store in Prague, Architektura ČSR XLIV, 1985, No. 1, p. 14.

Jiřina Loudová – Zdeňka Knappová  Michal Beneš, Programme of new types of flats in apartment houses with differentiated standards, Architektura ČSR XLIV, 1985, No. 1, pp. 4346 (VÚVA section).

Jiřina Loudová, The Emergence and Development of the Housing Question as a Social Class Problem, Architektura ČSR XLVII, 1988, No. 1, pp. 2538.

Jiřina Loudová, The method of multi-criteria evaluation of the quality of dwelling houses and urban residential units as a tool to increase the social efficiency of the regeneration of settlements, Architektura ČSR XLVIII, 1989, No. 4, pp. 8893 (VÚVA section).

Jiřina Loudová, How to save and restore our historic cities, Architektura XLIX, 1990, No. 4, pp. 9093.


Jiřina Loudová, Interpretation of the Semiotic Problems of the Aesthetic Hypothesis of the 'KTA'. Elaborát VÚVA, Prague 1975.

Jiřina Loudová, The use of Marxist semiotics in the theory and aesthetics of architecture, in: Cultural values of contemporary architecture as a component of the environment. Elaborát VÚVA, Prague 1975

Jiřina Loudová, Principles of creation and protection of aesthetic values of our settlements, Realization output of VÚVA, Prague 1975.

Jiřina Loudová  Werner Rieterdorf et al., Planning of New Residential Areas in Czechoslovakia and the GDR, VÚVA  ISA BERLIN, Prague 1984.

Jiřina Loudová  Zdeňka Knappová et al., The current appearance of the central parts of selected historical towns in Czechoslovakia as determined by field research, Research Report - SPZV II-8-2/05 VÚVA, Prague 1986.

Jiřina Loudová  Zdeňka Knappová et al., Overview of the state of spatial planning preparation for the regeneration of urban conservation reserves and conservation zones in historic towns in Czechoslovakia in 1986, Research Report  SPZV II-8-2/05 VÚVA, Prague 1986.

Jiřina Loudová  Zdeňka Knappová, Modernization of the housing and housing stock according to the KBV schemes of 1984 in Czechoslovakia and its contribution to the regeneration of the central parts of historic towns in Czechoslovakia, Research Report  II82/05 VÚVA, Prague 1987.

Jiřina Loudová  Zdeňka Knappová, Method of multi-criteria evaluation of the quality of dwellings and residential buildings in regeneration areas, Research Report  II82/05 VÚVA, Prague 1989.

Jiřina Loudová  Zdeňka Knappová et al., Research on the Opinions of Residents on the Quality of Housing and Residential Environment in Areas with Already Performed Redevelopment and Modernization of Housing Stock, Research Report  SPZV II82/05 VÚVA, Prague 1989.

Jiřina Loudová, Development of Housing and Civic Amenities in Regeneration Areas, Research Report  SPZV II82/05 VÚVA, Prague 1990.

Jiřina Loudová, Historical development of Kladno according to the features of its old town plans, Research Report  SPZV II82/05 FA ČVUT, Prague 1990.

Jiřina Loudová, Housing policy in the process of regeneration of protected areas of our cities, VÚVA, Prague 1994.


1962, Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Akad. arch.

1966, Charles University in Prague

1969, Technical University Graz, D.Tech.

1976, Czech Technical University in Prague, CSc.


1955–1958, Státní projektový ústav pro výstavbu měst a vesnic (architect)

1958–, Konstruktiva (architect)

1967–1969, freelance (architect)

1970–1990, Research Institute of Construction and Architecture (VÚVA) (scientist)

1976–1982, Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (researcher)

1991–, Pro Urbis Consulting (head of own consulting company)

Personal ties
Jiří Louda (1954–) – husband

editoři nakladatelství, Kdo je kdo 91/92 : Česká republika, federální orgány ČSFR Díl 1. A-M, Praha, 1991.

Třeštík Michael, in: Michael Třeštík (ed.),, Praha, 1994.

Třeštík Michael, in: Michael Třeštík (ed.),, Praha, 1998.

Author of the record: BŘ