Worker's Theatre, Gottwaldov (The Zlín City Theatre)

Date 1960–1967
Code Z10
Address Třída Tomáše Bati 4091, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Divadlo (BUS 31, 70); Dlouhá (TROL 2, 4, 5, 9; BUS 33, 35, 36)
GPS 49.2254547N, 17.6693578E
Monument preservation Worker's Theatre, Gottwaldov (The Zlín City Theatre) is a monument listed under the number ÚSKP 50702/7-8930

The impressive Workers' Theatre building opened on November 11, 1967. Its architecture and artistic design arose from national competitions. 
Efforts to build a theatre in Zlín date back to the 1930s, however. The first unrealised designs were prepared by the prominent Zlín architect František Lýdie Gahura (1891–1958) as part of the master plan of the area in front of the entrance to the Baťa factory premises on náměstí Práce. The construction of the theatre began to be considered again immediately after the end of World War II. The permanent theatre stage was founded in Zlín on August 14, 1946 under the name Divadlo pracujících (Workers' theatre). The premises in the Social House designed by the architect Vladimír Karfík (1901–1996) in the Díly district were selected as its site, but this was a temporary solution. With the need for a permanent theatre space being a perennial issue, the council of the regional national committee decided to negotiate in 1956 for the construction of a new building. Seven locations for construction were proposed, from which a space in the city centre near the main square opposite the church was finally selected. There were low single-storey houses, and also an architecturally-valuable functionalist villa belonging to the Šaller family (by Miroslav Lorenc) on the site, all of which were pulled down. In order to reduce costs, it was decided to use the existing fire station building (known as the security house), built according to Miroslav Lorenc's design in the years 1939–1941, for the needs of the new theatre.
As part of the preparation stage, a nationwide anonymous architectural competition was announced in 1957 for the Gottwaldov regional theatre with a capacity of 800 or 900 spectators. The competition committee met over the 57 submitted proposals in the spring of 1958. The highest award went to the pair of architects Karel Řepa (1895–1963) and his son Miroslav Řepa (1930). To carry out the project, the architects joined forces with the local Stavoprojekt Gottwaldov and chose the architect František Rozhon (1926–2003) as a collaborator. Symbolically, the first excavation on the construction site was carried out on May 1, 1958. The plans for the theatre were very generous given the context of the era: the whole complex was built at a cost of 46 million 27 thousand crowns.
A new building connected to the auxiliary building, the former fire station, was built on the corner plot. The main building consists of an area with a rectangular floor plan, in the centre of which is an ovoid auditorium with boxes around the perimeter of the hall. The auditorium is complemented by a vestibule on the ground floor and a large foyer on the first floor. The building has a flat roof, with a dominant prism of a fly tower in the rear section. The western two-storey façade has a portico on the ground floor, supported by regularly-spaced slanting pillars. In front of the facade is a terrace with stone paving, connected to the surrounding terrain by a wide staircase. The staircase is divided by low transverse walls with stone oval vases. At the northern end of the terrace, a highly-stylised sculpture Letící múza (Flying Muse) by Luboš Moravec was placed on a high subtle beam. The wall running along the portico is broken by a system of small rectangular vertical slits. In the middle of the wall, large shop windows with glass doors form the main entrance to the theatre. From the entrance vestibule, two self-supporting, double-armed, mirrored staircases rise to the first floor. On the first floor, there is a glass wall spanning the entire height of the inner foyer. The wall is anchored on subtle metal beams and there is a balcony in front of it. The north façade on Tomas Bata Avenue is broken by rectangular windows on the ground floor. Upstairs, a system of slightly protruding pillars is applied. The south façade on Divadelní Street is similarly designed, with a rectangular entrance in the middle with an extended reinforced concrete awning. The rear, eastern façade opens into a small park with a fountain, the Torso sculpture by Miroslav Chlupáč and a structured concrete wall by Čestmír Janošek.
From the mass of the theatre on the south side at the level of the second floor, a connecting corridor for employees, supported by pillars, leads to the first floor of the operating building, which is connected to the theatre and the corridor for the transportation of scenery. The operating building has a rectangular floor plan and three storeys, and a standard layout with individual rooms running along a central corridor. The building has a reinforced concrete skeleton with brick infills. The theatre was designed as a universal space with an emphasis on drama, with options for singing and ballet. Despite the austerity of the time and financial difficulties during the construction, the theatre managed to raise a large amount for the artistic decoration. In 1962, a nationwide anonymous art competition was announced, in which 130 authors entered. Selected works of art have become a significant part and addition to the impressive architecture. In addition to the above-mentioned external sculptures, the rounded wall of the auditorium in the lobby was lined with a mosaic by Milan Obrátil and Zbyněk Slavíček, and in the foyer there is a large stylised painting by Zdeněk Holub. A textile curtain designed by Hana Lendrová and Sylva Řepková was hung in the portal of the stage. A figural relief by Zdeněk Kovář is located in the area of ​​the gatehouse opposite the entrance. The interiors and exterior are also complemented by ceramic works by Ludmila Hladíková, Děvana Mírová, Marie Rychlíková and Alois Šutera.
In 1989, the Great Hall of the theatre was reconstructed. Rehearsal room No. 1 and a theatre hall for 100 spectators, which was called Studio G (Gottwaldov) and later renamed Studio Z (Zlín), were modified as a an alternative space. The theatre building, including its works of art, the adjacent park, and fountain, has been inscribed on the Central List of Cultural Monuments and is valuable proof of the harmonious connection of master planning, architecture and art.