Residential House of Hugo and Libuše Förster

Date 1938 / 1973
Architect Viktor Jandásek
Code Z6
Address Na Požáře 178, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Školní (TROL 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, BUS 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 38, 53, 70, 90) Slovenská (TROL 1, 3, 8, 11, 12, 13, BUS 90)
GPS 49.2231711N, 17.6718558E
  • Ondřej Ševeček, Zrození Baťovy průmyslové metropole. Továrna, městský prostor a společnost ve Zlíně v letech 1900-1938, České Budějovice 2009

A four-storey house for Libuše and Hugo Förster was built in 1938 on an irregular plot of land on the edge of Cihlářská and U Přehrady streets. The residential house, with generous apartments intended for rent was designed by the Zlín architect and builder Viktor Jandásek, who ran a successful construction company and also designed buildings for well-to-do merchants and townspeople. Hugo Förster was the first Zlín notary, he cooperated with the Baťa company and performed all official acts connected with the notarial certificate. The couple had their own villa built in 1934 in Hluboká Street, just a few dozen metres from the new house.
The traditionally-built brick building is based on foundation strips and has reinforced concrete ceilings. In the first designs, which Viktor Jandásek submitted to the Building Authority, the building was conceived as a three-storey house with a flat roof. During the preparations, the house was raised by one floor, so the result is a four-storey house that uses a basement for service rooms (laundry, dryer, cellars), a one-room caretaker's apartment and a garage for two cars. The floors are connected by a double L-shaped staircase lit through glass blocks and a square skylight in the roof. On each floor there are three spacious apartments, one three-room and two two-room, and each apartment also has two balconies. The property also included a courtyard and garden surrounded by a fence with a concrete base, which was also designed by Viktor Jandásek according to the requirements of the building authority.
The style of the façade is unusual for Zlín, and maybe in many ways reminiscent of another apartment block designed by Jandásek, the house for Eduard Trantírek, which he was designing in parallel with the construction of this house. The horizontally-designed volume of the house with rounded balconies and a subtle railing creates a monumental corner of the new residential block. Other organically-shaped balconies protrude from both sides of the house. The regular rhythm of the façade is determined by the alternating of three-part and one-part windows in white wooden frames, which are lined with ceramic brown tiles. These are also used in window linings and this supports the horizontal appearance of the house.
In 1973, the house was extended on the south side along its entire length, while the width of the extension was limited to four metres due to the surrounding buildings. At that time, the house was under the administration of Centroprojekt, whose employees also lived in the house and carried out the extension together with the renovation themselves as part of so called “Z Action”. The new housing units created by dividing the original apartments and adding new ones were intended for young Centroprojekt employees. On each floor of the extension there was one one-room apartment, one two-room apartment, and a studio apartment. The total capacity was increased by nine apartments. On the ground floor a room for pram storage was created in the place of the former garage. All housing units are accessible from the main staircase, and each apartment is connected to a common corridor via its own separate hall. The three new apartments on each floor are designed so that the utility rooms are located in the original part of the house, and the living rooms are then situated along the southern facade of the extension. The design was made by the architect Jaroslav Hošek, also an employee of Centroprojekt. The extension is sensitively connected to the original volume of the house. The textured plaster is matched in colour to the original house as well as the cladding around the windows.
At present, the house still serves its original purpose, and the interior and exterior retain many original elements. In the common areas, the original materials are preserved, such as railings, wooden entrance doors, and floors. The residential house of the Försters is still a valuable example of quality interwar architecture built in the city independently of the Baťa company.