cz

The House of Mr. Javorský (Archa)

Date 1932–1934
Architect Miroslav Lorenc
Code Z6
Address Třída Tomáše Bati 190, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Dlouhá (TROL 2, 3, 5, 9, BUS 33, 35, 36)
GPS 49.2253417N, 17.6679019E
Miroslav Lorenc was one of the architects who in the 1930s significantly shaped the appearance of the "non-Baťa" part of Zlín. Lorenc's numerous realisations can be found in Bartošova, Štefánikova, Rašínova Street and on Tomáš Baťa avenue. He was intensely involved in developing the typology of a house connecting the business function located on the ground floor with the residential function on the other floors of the building.
In the historical centre of the city, Miroslav Lorenc used his experience from Prague internships with Pavel Janák, Josef Gočár and especially Jaromír Krejcar; he was also well acquainted with German Bauhaus and Russian constructivism. Since 1931, he had been building houses in Zlín in the functionalist style for wealthy entrepreneurs and the upper class. These were often distinctive, modern buildings forming an important element for urban composition in a given street or locality. One example is a house built for a Zlín businessman, glazier, and real estate owner František Javorský. It is situated on the corner of today's Tomáš Bata Avenue (formerly Komenského Street) and Malé náměstí, in front of the Church of St. Philip and St. James.
The four-storey house with a flat roof is found on a slightly sloping location, in a prominent place in the city centre, where there used to be a primary school. It ends the street line near náměstí Míru. The building has a reinforced concrete structure filled with bricks. The first and second floors are richly glazed with shop windows spanning the whole area between the structure. The northern façade is characterised by a massive avant-corps with sash windows, highlighted by the vertical mass of the corner tower. The tower stands out also thanks a different composition of windows. In the subtle frames, rectangular glass panes are placed longitudinally in two vertical rows. The spaces inside the tower served as living rooms. On the first floor there was a meeting room for the Záložna savings bank. The prominent corner tower, which rises above the fourth floor, continues through strip windows to the southern edge, which is compositionally-balanced by the second avant-corps on the other side of the building, protruding from the third and fourth floors.
Lorenc dealt with the descending terrain on the east side by raising the foundation under the windows. For advertising purposes, a strip of coloured glass was used above the commercial parterre, where signs with the names of businesses and neon advertisements were originally placed. František Javorský did not only focus on his own business, but from the very beginning he also played a significant role in the activities of the Živnostensko-průmyslová záložna (Trade and Industrial Bank), which had been operating in Zlín since 1912. He first served in the appraisal commission, and by 1937 he was chairman of the board. This personal commitment is also reflected in the generous spaces that were reserved for Záložna in the new building. The bank was located on the first floor, including the main office, director's office, and meeting room. The offices were equipped with modern furniture with tubular chairs; stone tiles were combined with glass partitions and wood.
In the commercial parterre on the ground floor, four business units were located (for example, the textile retailer Maláč, the Photography studio, and gifts made of glass and ceramics by the Císař brothers). The second and third floors were used exclusively for residential purposes. According to the first plans, four two-room flats with a hall were designed on the second floor, and three flats, laundries, and dryers on the third.
The first alteration to the Lorenc's concept was the construction of another building with glass workshops on the adjacent plot. The one-storey building was completed by the company of the builder Bohumil Zámečník in the same year that the house of František Javorský was approved. The building underwent the biggest changes during the second half of the 20th century, when the original owners emigrated. The Theatre Patisserie and Café were placed on the first and second floors, which required modifications to the interiors and the transformation of the composition of the original façade.
In the 1990s, the building was returned to the relatives of František Javorský. In 1996, a complete renovation took place according to the sensitive design of the ADDO studio (Zlín architects Jaroslav Habarta and Jiří Záhořák). The façade was restored to its original form and even the bank (Ekoagrobanka) returned to the interior, at least for a while. Today there is a bookstore. Commercial spaces serve their original purpose, as do the housing units on the higher floors.