The Museum is housed in a two-storey building designed by architect Josef Schulz in the Neo-Renaissance style, built between 1897—1899, with richly articulated and decorated roofs and front façade.
Designed by Antonín Popp and Bohuslav Schnirch with reliefs above the first floor windows depicting various crafts and trades including weaving, basketry, embroidery and lace making, goldsmithing and jewellery making, locksmithing, bell-founding, tin-making, wood-carving, printing, book making, stone masonry, glass making, pottery and porcelain manufacture; above the second floor windows are emblems of the towns of: Rumburk, Zbraslav, Domažlice, Mladá Boleslav, Staré Město Pražské, Jindřichův Hradec, Hradec Králové, Slavkov, Turnov, Kutná Hora, Plzeň, Nové Město Pražské, Hradčany, Vimperk, Beroun, and Loket.
This displays elaborate stuccowork and mural paintings, a balustrade on the staircase with brass lamp-posts which were a gift from František Křížek.
This is one of Prague’s most beautiful public reading rooms with original furnishings and Baroque book-cases, formerly from the (now closed) monastery library in Benešov.
The stained glass windows on the first floor landing depict an Allegory of Decorative Arts and Art and those on the second floor landing an Allegory of Trade and Art.
The second floor balustrade is made from Carrara and Slivenec marble with bronze lamp-post, with mural paintings by Ferdinand Herčík depicting metal-smithing, printing and graphic art, foundry-work, ceramic and glassmaking, and goldsmithing.
On the first floor, the ceiling and walls are decorated with grotesques and lunettes painted by Karel V. Mašek and depict an Homage to Palleas Athene, Trade, and Decorative Arts. In a niche on the wall is the bronze statue of the Emperor Josef I by Emanuel Hallmann.
(11. 4. 1840—15. 7. 1917)
Schulz was an architect, and between 1878 and 1911 Professor at the Czech Technological College in Prague. An admirer of Italian Renaissance architecture, he applied its principles in many designs for new buildings and for the reconstruction of public buildings, including block of flats, suburban houses, and interiors. Architect of the National Museum, Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, Smichov Town Hall, church in Maršov, he designed the interiors of both Lanna’s and Groba’s houses in Prague. He was one of the two architects of the Rudolfinum and the main architect of the National Theatre in Prague after J. Zítek. He donated a number of exhibits to the Museum.