Family House of Vlasta and Jaroslav Rybka

Date 1973
Code Z9
Address Filmová 278, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Filmové ateliéry, točna (BUS 31)
GPS 49.1996533N, 17.6720217E

Vlasta and Jaroslav Rybka had their own family house designed in 1972 in a quiet place near the film studios in Kudlov. The new building replaced the original house, which was pulled down in 1967 for the construction of the main road (now Tomáš Baťa Avenue). South of the complex along Filmová Street, the development of detached, individually designed houses gradually grew as a counterpart to Fabiánka's corporate apartment buildings intended primarily for ordinary studio employees. Family villas appeared only rarely at that time; the predominant residential type was structural panel housing used in mass accommodation in estates. Experienced architects from Zlín built on exclusive plots of land in Kudlov, however, and managed to achieve a connection between houses and nature and the surrounding greenery. Filmova Street is metaphorically closed by the villa of the composer Zdeněk Liška, completed in 1959.
The first design from 1972 was by the architect Zdeněk Plesník. However, the family house for Rybkas was finally built a year later according to a project by another Zlín architect, Svatopluk Sládeček sen., a graduate of architecture at Brno University of Technology, who combined his professional career of a practising architect with teaching. Between 1966 and 2004, he worked at the Secondary Industrial School of Civil Engineering. While still at university, he undertook a study trip to Switzerland, and in 1972 he also visited Finland. The architect began to apply elements of Scandinavian architecture to the proposed family houses, including the villa for Vlasta and Jaroslav Rybka. This included the harmonious connection of architecture with the surrounding landscape, respect for the human scale, and also respecting the natural qualities of materials (wooden elements in combination with brick).
What seems an inconspicuous ground-floor building from the street toward which the entrance to the house and garage are orientated, is a three-storey building with a longitudinal layout sensitively set in the sloping plot. Each floor cascades towards the garden, creating balconies lining each floor. Balconies with wood paneling in dark brown contrast with white lime-cement bricks and determine the character of the whole building. The south façade is almost fully glazed, with the windows spanning the entire width of the façade. The second floor is supported by two columns, creating a covered living space adjacent to the basement floor. There is a fireplace under the roof. 
The house is entered through a recessed vestibule into a cloakroom and a hall with a staircase. On this floor there is also a bathroom, and two bedrooms overlooking the garden. The staircase, located in the middle of the layout, descends to the lower floors, where on the first floor there is the main living area with living room, kitchen, and dining area. This continuous zone also includes a hall with a study and laundry room. A storage room and a sauna are on the ground floor, from which the garden is entered under the protruding first floor slab.
Photographs of the interior of Rybkas' house were published in the magazine Domov in 1976. They display an emphasis on material diversity, simplicity and functionality. The interior is complemented by works of art by Vlasta Čančíková, while the main rooms utilise natural light and views of the garden. The furniture has a light colour with more colourful details. Built-in wardrobes are combined with walls lined with wood veneer.
In 2003, the architect Oldřich Šlesinger designed an extension to the house. The garage was enlarged to contain two cars, and a two-room housing unit was connected to the existing house. In terms of materials, the extension responds to the original architecture, combining wooden attic cladding and white brick-shaped cladding stone. The House of Vlasta and Jaroslav Rybka remains an example of individualised housing with Scandinavian elements dating from the 1970s.