Winter Spa (50m pool)

Date –1985
Architect Jiří Kotásek
Code Z10
Address Hradská 888, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Zlín, zimní lázně
GPS 49.2216700N, 17.6697175E

In 1950, a spa with a 25-metre indoor pool opened in the centre of Zlín. Fifteen years later, the building ceased to suffice and a new preliminary design for the addition of a new racing pool with a length of 50 metres was prepared. The author of this design from 1965 was Josef Holeček from the Centroprojekt design office, who together with the architect Vladimír Karfík had participated in the construction of the Winter Spa in 1950. According to this plan, the generously-glazed new building was to be connected directly to the existing 25-metre pool. The plans remained on paper, however, and further planning for the construction of the pool did not take place again until the mid-1980s. The location of the pool was connected with the effort to expand the sports complex in the city centre. Next to the swimming pool there was also an athletic stadium, which was used by sports clubs, the public, and students from the neighbouring school district. This area provided the main sports facilities not only for the city of Gottwaldov, but also for the surrounding villages, so its connection to the local and long-distance transport was crucial.
The new sports building was finally built in the mid-1980s according to a design by Jiří Kotásek, also from the Centroprojekt office. Kotásek connected the two buildings with a narrow corridor, thus creating one complex. As with other sports facilities of the period, the design of the swimming pool emphasises engineering and technical features; the forms result from the structural solution as well as from the architectural concept. The ingenious load-bearing steel structure of the roof is the work of Ladislav Plzák.
The three-storey building has a massive overhanging roof clad in dark brown tiles. This distinctive element separates the roof from other visible parts on the façade. On the north there are strips of windows alternating with tiles made of light grey concrete with a formwork imprint. The window pillars are clad with brick tiles, as is the wall bearing the exterior staircase. On the south side of the building, the dark mass of the roof is complemented by a fully-glazed wall illuminating the pool. As with the layout of the winter spa by Vladimír Karfík, the interior is directly connected to the adjacent greenery.
The building is located on a slope, so the entrance is accessible through a system of ramps and stairs. The main entrance on the first floor is surrounded by a generous entrance area, from where there is a view of the sports ground and the nearby city centre, dominated by the Collective House. The director's office, cafeteria, pool and sauna were located on the first floor. On the ground floor, there was the training pool and locker rooms, as well as technical rooms (HVAC engine room) and auxiliary facilities with staff locker rooms and storage facilities. On the second floor there is a lifeguard and first aid room, a telephone exchange, an air conditioning engine room, offices, and storage rooms. 
From a geological point of view, the plot was not easy to build on. The foundations stand in the landslide area with a high groundwater level. This made the implementation of the building, particularly the construction of the foundations, costly and technically demanding.
As mentioned above, the design of the roof of the 50-metre swimming pool was also exceptional. Ladislav Plzák designed the supporting structure of the roof, which consists of space frame trusses with a span of 35 metres, cantilevered 3metres on both sides. The hall housing the pool and the operating area are covered by double roofs, which are ventilated due to the high temperatures and humidity of the indoor environment. On the interior of the roof there is a grid to hold the soffit. The overall roof area is 2722 m2 and to build it 236,700 kg of steel was used.
The 50-metre pool building still fulfils its original function and is an important example of sports architecture in the second half of the 20th century. As one of the few buildings in Zlín of this period, it uses béton brut as an artistic element. The placement of solar panels on the roof of the building as well as the 2018 insensitive extension built for the whirlpool damages the overall appearance.