Kounic Palace - Masaryk University Rectorate
Kounic Palace in 1908
The neo-Renaissance building today called the Kounic Palace was built in 1871-1873 by Brno builder and the structure’s first owner Josef Arnold, according to plans by architect Karel Exner. The imposing polygonal block, built in the green belt created after Brno’s town walls were torn down, was conceived as an upper-middle-class apartment building. In 1905 it was bought by Count Václav Kounic, who three years later donated it to the Czech university student community in Brno “in order to meet the needs of students without means”. The gift was accepted by the Kounic Student Dormitory Society of the Czech universities in Brno, formed in 1908 to receive the donation. However, the building itself was not well-suited to serve as a dormitory; therefore it continued to serve as an apartment building, with rental proceeds going for the construction of true dormitory space (the Kounic Student Dormitory completed in 1923, and the Girl’s House of Kounic Student Dormitory completed 1931), and for support and stipendia for students. In the Kounic Palace itself an Academic Cafeteria was opened in 1920, which still functions today. When the Kounic Student Dormitory Society was dissolved after February 1948, the Kounic Palace, now state property, was placed at the disposal of Masaryk University. In 1952 the university began to discuss transforming it into a student dormitory. This plan met with determined opposition from the town government, and the Kounic Palace remained what it had been from the beginning – an apartment building, which also housed a number of various institutions over the years. Since 1958, when it came under the administration of the housing bureau, the cafeteria was the building’s only link to the university. Kounic Palace was restored to Masaryk University after 1990. In 1993 - 1994 the building underwent extensive reconstruction for the Masaryk University Rectorate, the previous seat of which on Burešova Street was given to the Czech Republic’s Supreme Court. The Kounic Place was inaugurated as Masaryk University’s central administration building on 25 May 1995.