Zlín Fire Station

Date 1959–1961 / 2018-2020
Architect Šebestián Zelina
Code Z10
Address Přílucká 213, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Obeciny (TROL 1, 11, 12; BUS 31, 90)
GPS 49.2219506N, 17.6988056E

The original building of the fire station, the so-called security house by architect Miroslav Lorenc, stood in the city centre near the church. Due to the construction of the new city Workers' Theatre, it was vacated and became the basis of the theatre's operating building. To build a new fire station a plot of land in the north-eastern part of the city of Zlín was chosen, in the Obecina district, in the valley of the Jaroslavický brook by the old road to Příluky. The author of the master plan as well as the design of the entire complex was the architect Šebestián Zelina. His design drew on detailed knowledge of the surroundings. He situated the free-standing buildings in the greenery in the northern slope of the valley. The office building with a tower and the garage building with workshops were all designed as simple cubic volumes. The relatively low height of the buildings contrasts with the dominant tower and creates a remarkable architectural whole smoothly blending in with the surrounding development, by using face bricks matching the existing cooperative and family construction in the vicinity. The tower has become a landmark in this part of the city.
The office building had three floors with a standard layout consisting of a middle corridor flanked by offices on both sides. On the ground floor, the architect placed offices, a room for the porter, a dining room and food preparation room, a common room which was later transformed into a dressing room, toilets, and an apartment. Upstairs were dormitories, living rooms, apartments, offices, and bathrooms. The dormitories were equipped with slide poles for firefighters. The seven-storey 27-metre high tower with a roof terrace was connected to the office building in the southwest corner by a washing house for hoses equipped with concrete mangers. The tower is used for training purposes and drying hoses. From the west side, the garage building is connected to the administrative building by a corridor. The garages are designed for 12 large fire trucks. The architect assumed that there would always be two cars in a row in the hall, three emergency vehicles in the front row and the remaining vehicles behind them, without special requirements for quick departure and arrival. Under the front row of emergency vehicles, he designed heating elements in the floor under the engines, which would keep the vehicles constantly at standby temperature. The rear stand was equipped with an assembly pit and an adjoining workshop, serving as a car and pump repair shop with other service areas, a laundry room and a drying room. When designing the complex, he placed particular emphasis on its functionality. The layout was based on both the operation of the fire station and the geological conditions of the construction site. The objects with a rectangular floor plan are situated along the main road in order to achieve the shortest possible distances for the arrival and departure of emergency vehicles and to eliminate complications during their sudden departure. Thanks to the use of a curved roof, the space is illuminated with a pair of arched windows in both fronts of the garage. Zelina thus repeats on a smaller scale the skylight he used at the winter stadium. The project was worked out to the smallest detail. 
In the years 1996–1997, the office space was extended by one floor with an arched roof structure. The proposal also included a superstructure of the northern three-storey building and a new building on the site of the neck connecting the tower with the garage. Matching the height of the surrounding buildings, this addition to the office building significantly disrupted Zelina's design of low buildings. The newly-built structure in the place of the connecting neck exceeds the height of the northern building and the whole becomes a random accumulation of masses. Instead of a flat roof, the author of the reconstruction covered both buildings with a curved roof, similar to the one Zelina applied to the garage. An effort was made to unite Zelina's original face brick building with the reconstruction brick lining, but this led to a visible borderline at the junction of the new and old façades. In 2000, insulation and new plaster and other modifications were made to the garage building and entrance, paying no attention to the original design and materials. The establishment of the Zlín Region in 2000 was connected with a reorganisation of the Fire and Rescue Service. The already-existing Zelina fire station building was chosen as the seat of the central regional fire firefighting unit but the regional council decided to expand it for new needs. In the years 2018–2020, a new building with four floors and garages in the basement was built, equipped with new technologies, structurally connected to the existing building. In 2021, it was further reconstructed. The premises of the fire station are not protected as monuments or as buildings of architectural significance.