František Malota Villa

Date 1941–1943
Architect Vladimír Karfík
Code Z7
Address Lazy I 3689, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Lazy, škola (TROL 3, 13)
GPS 49.2189244N, 17.6761828E
Monument preservation František Malota Villa is a monument listed under the number ÚSKP 102178

One of the best-preserved villas built in Zlín during World War II is the family house of František Malota and his wife Julie. František Malota (1900–1984) worked in one of the top positions of the Baťa company in the 1930s. He was the head of the purchasing department, and for several years he also worked abroad, including being the director of a factory in Hellocourt, France. From 1939 he was a member of the board of directors and a shareholder of the company. In his memoir, the architect Vladimír Karfík recalls that he was commissioned to design the building in the Rhineland style with "the addition of something of Zlín". The building is thus an experiment referring both to historical and contemporary tendencies. Karfík utilised his experience from the American internship with Frank Lloyd Wright. The stylistic pluralism of the building shows Karfík as a versatile author who was able to incorporate the strict requirements imposed on architects in the company into his designs, but he also managed to process freer assignments and even design an alternative version of the organic functionalism.
Like Karfík's other individually-designed director's houses, Malota's villa is located on a large plot of land near the forest with a view of the city. The sloping terrain configuration enabled the opening of the basement to the garden, so while the house is two-storey from the main street, it is three-storey on the west side. The facade of the house was designed in an unusual way for Zlín - the two-layer lime-cement plaster was treated in the upper layer with a wide ridge and thus the plastic appearance of the surface was achieved. The villa is topped with a hipped roof with distinctive chimneys.
The basic floor plan consists of a section intended for the husband and wife, with rooms facing south and a service section on the north side with its own entrance, staircase, garages, chauffeur's apartment, and staff rooms. Upon entering the house a representative hall unfolds, with a wooden, organically shaped staircase, from where you can enter the floor with the couple's private rooms or the common areas of the dining room, living room, and library. These rooms are separated by sliding doors, so that when fully opened, a continuous space of more than 100 m2 is created. The effect of interconnection is also supported by the view of the surrounding environment through covered and open terraces and corner windows. These elements, together with the gradually growing floor plan of the house and distinctive chimneys, resemble the so-called prairie houses, with which Karfík became acquainted at F. L. Wright. Upstairs are two bedrooms and a guest room. The Malotas did not have children; their private rooms are connected to the dressing room, boudoir, and the bathroom, with access to the balcony.
The interior was generously equipped, and many of the original elements have been preserved to this day, such as built-in furniture in the library and wooden wall tiles. In the dining room we find original bay windows with marble tiles, built-in showcases, a fireplace, wooden floors, terrazzo gutters, and some of the original bathroom tiles. In the basement there is the last common room intended for recreation, or as a dance hall with access to the terrace, where it was possible to use the now non-existent outdoor pool. The house connects with the adjacent garden system of terraces, ramps, stairs and retaining walls. The upstairs rooms with three balconies also offer contact to the surrounding greenery.
The couple lived in the house until 1950. After the war, František Malota was dismissed from the company and imprisoned, along with other high-ranking company officials. They were persecuted and their property confiscated. Since 1951 a children's home has been operating in the house and it continues to this day. In 2007, a complete renovation of the villa took place. Much of the interior equipment was restored, while the exterior was returned to its original appearance, including the incised plaster in light ochre shade. The new attic, accessible through the former service staircase which was extended into the garden, provides space for additional accommodation units for children. The former garages were also rebuilt into living units. The house is a listed monument.