Apartment Buildings with Commercial Parterre

Date 1973–1976
Architect Jiří Čančík
Code Z15
Address Dlouhá 4211-4217, Zlín
GPS 49.2279047N, 17.6688925E
Between 1974 and 1976, an apartment building with a built-in commercial ground floor was built at the junction of Murzínova (now Dlouhá) and Vodní streets. Together with the large-capacity building by architect Jan Palacký, built only two years earlier a few dozens of metres away on Vodní Street, it changed the original character of the wider city centre with the predominant low-rise development of family houses with gardens.
For the corner plot, architect Jiří Čančík designed a house with clear city-defining qualities, creatively using panel structures based on nationally-approved types. Jiří Čančík (1922–2001) belonged to an important group of architects, graduates of Prague's UMPRUM, who came to Zlín only at the end of 1948 and connected their professional career with the national enterprise Stavosvit (later Stavoprojekt). The general designer of the residential building was the Gottwaldov Regional Project Organisation (Krajská projektová organizace Gottwaldov), the investor was the Department of Construction and Spatial Planning (Odbor výstavby a územního plánování).
The building consists of 98 residential units, three buildings are connected to each other by side walls, each of the buildings consisting of two to three sections. Due to the sloping terrain, they differ in height which varies from four to six floors from the north. A pedestrian passage connecting the main street with the park in the inner block is placed in the last southern section.
The ground floor with shops and services extends together with the basement along the entire eastern side, where it follows the shape of the main street. In addition to business premises, the first floor also houses storage rooms and facilities for employees. Cellars, laundries, drying rooms, and carriage rooms are available for the residents of the house.
The materials used for the residential and commercial parts are different. The parterre is defined by a wide cornice with light stone cladding, which serves as a base for advertising signs. The generous glass display windows were complemented by a plinth clad with high fire ceramic tiles. Residential floors are a manifest in regular grid of windows, bordered by decorative light orange prefabs with a pronounced vertical relief creating horizontal bands on the facade.
The apartments are accessible via separate entrances from the western parts of the buildings. In the middle of the layout there is U-shaped staircase. There are three apartments per floor of each section, with the exception of the northern section, which is two modules shorter, with two apartments per floor. Of the total 98 apartments, 64 are one-room apartments with a kitchen and service rooms, with the remaining 34 two-room apartments with a balcony. Most of the apartments face east and west, with the exception of 30 one-room apartments on the east side. The layout of the housing units was adopted from the nationally approved type T06B with B3 prefab bathroom units, whose use was also extended to G57 structural systems between 1961 and 1981.
Services (cosmetics, hairdressing, and barbershops) and a pharmacy operated in the built-in commercial ground floor. The Czechoslovak Airlines (ČSA) branch was located in the exclusive premises on the corner. Architect Čančík also designed a representative interior for the ČSA with a reception desk, plenty of padded seats and a stone floor. The wall with the logo was supplemented with a relief (author unknown).
Of the original services, only the pharmacy remains today; the other operations are gradually changing. The generously designed shopping parterre is largely unmaintained and the corners in particular are obscured by visual smog with large stickers along the entire area of the storefronts. The flats still serve their purpose. Architect Jiří Čančík designed the building on the site of the original twelve family houses with gardens. The massive redevelopment was also underway with the construction of an adjacent large-capacity building on Vodní Street. Thanks to this, a quiet inner block with a smaller park and a quiet zone was created almost in the middle of the city, which residents still use today. The dynamic design of the façade has been preserved, but in the near future the house is to undergo complete refurbishment and insulation.