cz

Transport Company

Date 1955–1958
Architect Zdeněk Plesník
Code Z10
Address Podvesná XVII 3833, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Podvesná XVII (TROL 8,11) Broučkova (BUS 33) Baťova nem. vozovna (TROL 9)
GPS 49.2270550N, 17.6929494E

The transport company depots have been located in the Podvesná district in the eastern part of the city since the early 1940s. They are in the immediate vicinity of the hospital complex, the Dřevnice River, and residential areas with typical Baťa houses. The first depot was built in 1943, the second in 1949, and the third seven years later, in 1956. The business expanded rapidly, and on the site of a former playground, a large complex was gradually built, dominated by an administrative building with a south wing, later supplemented by a north wing. This complex was lined on the west side by a number of original Baťa houses. 
The office building and the master plan of the two adjoining buildings were designed in 1955 by the architect Zdeněk Plesník. As an employee of the Centroprojekt design institute he already had a number of important commissions to his name. To understand the context of the transport company's building, it is important to mention his trip to China in 1954, where he designed a radio transmitter for Beijing (1954-1956).
The main five-storey building with a flat roof is based on foundation strips. The basic reinforced concrete masonry is complemented by brick masonry and slag concrete blocks on the top floor. The house has a standard layout with a corridor in the middle flanked by offices on both sides, a U-shaped staircase in the middle of the layout and two other staircases along the edges of the building, which lead from the ground floor to the basement and warehouse. The design reflects the socialist realism style promoted at the time, which had been applied in Czechoslovak architecture since the early 1950s. Its characteristic features include classicising compositions, traditional building technologies, and a decoratively-designed façade complemented by sculptural elements with a clear ideological program.
The main façade reflects not only socialist realism, but also, according to the architect Zdeněk Plesník, the inspiration of Chinese architecture. The west (front) façade is symmetrically divided by a slightly protruding staircase hall with three windows on each floor and a colonnade on the top floor. The plastered central part of the building, the ground floor, and the top floor are complemented by face bricks in other parts of the façade. The vertical division of the building is emphasised by the semi-recessed square columns lining the window openings. Above the main entrance was installed a sculptural decoration with the city emblem and three reliefs with a figural composition of workers. Perforated prefabricated fillings used on the top floor are an inconspicuous element reminiscent of Zlín's post-war architecture of the previous era.
The interior served as offices of the transport company, which were located on the first and second floors. A large part of the building also provided accommodation for employees, for whom there were thirteen bachelor apartments, a kitchen, and shared bathroom facilities on the third and fourth floors. On the fifth floor there was a dining room, a library with a reading room, a games room, and a club room. From the common hall it was also possible to enter the terrace. 
The main building was completed in 1958 together with the south wing, where the trolleybus depots and the workshop annex were located. In 1972, they were supplemented by the north wing with depots No. 4 and 5. The premises of the transport company gradually grew and the original depot of vehicles with segment roofs were completed. During the 1970s, the original Baťa houses were demolished.
At present, the building still serves its original purpose, new buildings and depots for buses and trolleybuses having been built. Plesník's complex continues to dominate the Podvesná district and is an important example of 1950s architecture. In 1995, the façade was renovated, and the plastered parts of the façade, the entrance portal, and the sculptural decoration were painted light yellow. The entrance door was replaced and the interior was modified according to the needs of the current operation. The area is regularly accessible to the public during open days.