Architect Leopold Bauer
Trail From Square to Square
Address Soudní 1, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Zlín, náměstí Míru (TROL 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, BUS 31, 32, 33, 35, 36) U Zámku (TROL 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, BUS 32, 33, 38)
GPS 49.2257686N, 17.6631897E
Monument preservation Chateau is a monument listed under the number ÚSKP 35649/7-1892
An important milestone in the construction of modern Zlín was the transformation of the chateau and adjacent land from private property to public property. Beginning in 1923, František Lýdie Gahura designed regulatory plans for a rapidly expanding city. The chateau complex, located on the outskirts of the historic centre, found itself at the junction between the historic and modern city centre. The owner of the large estate was Stefan Viktor Leopold Haubt von Buchenrode, a descendant of Brno textile entrepreneurs. In 1929 he sold the chateau and the adjacent complex to the city of Zlín, headed by the mayor Tomáš Baťa.
In the following year the town leased the chateau to the Baťa Support Fund, and thus began a new phase of chateau history. The surrounding walls were gradually removed and the park opened to the public. Soon the chateau was renamed the Club House and, following the example of English clubs, acquired a new content, becoming a place for meetings and shared conversation. The generous premises also opened a café, a restaurant, reading rooms, and the Zlín cultural and sports associations all found their facilities here.
Park adaptations were also designed in 1930 by F. L. Gahura, who prepared an overall master plan for urban orchards. Parks open to the public offered recreation on lawns and rest areas, and in today's Komenský Park ornamental trees were planted. On the other hand, two ponds, which were built at the beginning of the 19th century by Klaudius Breton, one of the former owners of the chateau, were filled up. In the large English park, in the days of Breton there was a thriving farm, a brewery, a distillery, a granary, a match factory, and a silk factory. Also in the 19th century modifications to the roof were executed, consisting of the construction of four corner pyramidal superstructures.
The history of the chateau dates back to the end of the 15th century, when a fortified stronghold stood in its place, including a Gothic palace. In the 16th century, the northern wing was built, of which a basement survives to this day with preserved stone jambs of the portal and other remains of a Gothic-Renaissance tower. In the exterior of the eastern façade, a stone plate with the coats of arms of Jan Kropáč of Nevědomí and his wife Veronika of Leskovce is preserved with the year 1571 written on it. The western fortification wall was replaced by an early Baroque wing in the first half of the 17th century. The chateau underwent a significant change after the 1870s, when a new three-storey wing was built above the demolished northern wing. From approximately this time comes the present appearance of the castle with four wings situated around the almost square courtyard, this classicist arrangement was ordered by Mr and Mrs Khevenhüller.
The last significant intervention in the structure of the chateau came in 1904–1905, when the chateau was modernised according to a project by Leopold Bauer, a young architect and a graduate of the Viennese school of Otto Wagner. This modification changed the expression of the whole building - the eastern facade of the old palace was hidden in the ground plan behind the facade of the tower. In the space thus earned he placed a monumental marble staircase over the height of the ground floor and first floor. In the representative entrance he used artificial marble on the walls, and dark wood and brass on the railing. On the first floor he designed a tall two-storey hall with a vaulted reinforced concrete ceiling and a wooden circular staircase, which by its size protrudes into the courtyard. From this large hall there led the entrance to the morning and grand dining rooms, which provided access to the guest rooms on the northeast corner. In the south wing there was a gentleman's room, a boudoir, a billiard room, and a music salon. In the west wing the architect placed bedrooms and toilets, in the north wing a room for a maid, and a dressing room.
A newly introduced element were the balconies in front of the east and west facades, which open the chateau to the surrounding park and at the same time disrupt the solid matter of the facade. The old roofs with pyramidal extensions were completely removed and replaced with a new mansard roof. Thanks to Bauer's modifications the chateau became a more comfortable dwelling, but in the process it lost its original historical character.
Part of Baťa's adaptation was the construction of a staircase in the north wing in 1935. In the same year, the district office began to operate in the chateau; during the Second World War the building was taken over by the German army. In May 1945, it became the Red Army headquarters, later the Communist Party secretariat, and also the military administration office operated there. Since the end of the 1950s, the former chateau facilities served as exhibition halls for the gallery and museum, which in 2012 moved to the factory complex. At present, the Václav Chad Gallery and several smaller operations are located here, and the vast premises are used for short-term exhibitions and cultural events. The castle complex with its adjacent plot is still waiting for a complete renovation and a coherent content.