Domov Housing Colony

Date 1922–1924
Code Z6
Address Tyršovo nábřeží, Smetanova, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Cigánov-Internext (TROL 2, 4, 5, 9, BUS 35, 36) Čepkov (TROL 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, BUS 32, 33)
GPS 49.2297700N, 17.6659731E
49.2301469N, 17.6645267E
  • Ladislava Horňáková, František Lýdie Gahura. Projekty, realizace a sochařské dílo (kat. výstavy), Krajská galerie výtvarného umění ve Zlíně 2006
  • Archiv stavebního úřadu Magistrátu města Zlín
With the establishment of Czechoslovakia, several laws were issued regulating the provision of loans and setting taxes in favour of small builders, which also included construction and housing cooperatives. This support was intended for the construction of apartment and family houses for the lower and middle classes. The state provided loans, enacted tax breaks and guaranteed loans from financial institutions.
On June 1, 1922, a purchase agreement was signed between the Zlín parish, represented by the pastor Ignác Nepustil, and the non-profit building cooperative Domov, for which the chairman of the cooperative Antonín Malota and the notary Leopold Pančoška acted. The subject of the contract was land on the embankment of the Dřevnice River, which the cooperative bought for CZK 156,500. In October of the same year, the architect František Lýdie Gahura presented a master plan with thirteen family houses, which in two streets formed the basis of a new district lining the streets Tyršovo nábřeží and Smetanova. In written documents from as early as 1923, calculations appeared regarding only eleven houses with 11 flats with 41 rooms. The total cost of building the houses was CZK 882,900. The project received financial support from the Ministry of Social Welfare, the Ministry of Public Works, and the Ministry of Finance.
František Lýdie Gahura finished his studies of architecture at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in 1923, but was already working on the construction of a new town hall in Zlín. For a recent graduate with a starting architectural practice, the project for the Domov housing association was another of the important realisations created independently of the Baťa company, which he joined later, in 1924. Gahura designed a total of seven types marked with letters A (1 house), B (3 houses), C (1 house), D (1 house), E (4 houses), F (2 houses), and G (1 house); A total of 13 family houses, mostly with gabled roofs, were completed.
The appearance of the new colony underwent relatively strict regulation by the building authority. Ground floors of all houses had to be at least 75 cm above the ground because they were located in an area with a potential risk of flooding. The roofs were to be covered with red roof tiles and all the houses on the side of the embankment and from the new street (today Smetanova) were to have wire decorative fences on plinths with pillars. Sheds were not to be built on the land without permission, and vegetables were not to be grown in the gardens in front of the apartment buildings, but only flowers.
The development consists of single-storey houses with living spaces in the attic, mostly with gabled roofs and no basements. The foundations of the houses are made of stone masonry, the other masonry is made of bricks, while the wooden beam ceilings are covered with reed plaster. The basic layout of the house consists of two rooms, a kitchen, a pantry, and a bath (types E, F). In the attic there is another living room in types A, B, E, and F. Type G was represented by only one house, which had a studio on the ground floor instead of two rooms and no room in the attic. The largest in terms of space was the type C house, which, in addition to the classic layout, also had a laundry room and a separate room serving as a shop.
Despite the fact that these were simple, affordable buildings, the appearance of each type was carefully thought out, for example, by the decorative use of materials on the facade. The facades were formed in a manner reminiscent of the national style, and also an awareness of the work of Jan Kotěra, who was Gahura's tutor, is clearly discernible. This is evident on the stone plinth with arched risers, which protrude up to the window sills. Rounded curves are used on railings or complement the window sills in the attic. The motif of an emphasised entrance to the house through the porch is repeated, where the door is complemented by a large glass window. On the facades, which have a decorative character, Gahura combines plastered surfaces lined with a fine stucco line, wooden gables, and stone plinths lined with face bricks. All types of houses are equipped with three-part casement windows.
The group of houses formed the basis of new streets, which were gradually added, and vacant plots were divided among other inhabitants. These were often wealthy townspeople and businessmen who built their own villas and family houses here. The house on the waterfront has become a popular and sought-after address. The original houses built by the Domov construction cooperative began to be modified and expanded several years after the building approval, most often by laundries or garages. Many types are still recognisable to this day, however, although in most cases the windows were replaced and the façades altered. The original fences with stone plinths and pillars were also preserved.