Architect František Lýdie Gahura
Trail From Square to Square
Address náměstí T. G. Masaryka 2734, náměstí T. G. Masaryka 3218, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Památník T. Bati (BUS 53)
GPS 49.2194586N, 17.6668906E
Monument preservation ÚSKP 11928/7-8773
- Ladislava Horňáková, František Lýdie Gahura. Projekty, realizace a sochařské dílo (kat. výstavy), Krajská galerie výtvarného umění ve Zlíně 2006
- Antonín Grác, Zpráva o činnosti pedagogického oddělení Studijního ústavu ve Zlíně, Zlín 1938
- Vít Jakubíček, Pokus o poválečnou rekonstrukci Školy umění v letech 1945–1949., Acta musealia Muzea jihovýchodní Moravy ve Zlíně a Muzea regionu Valašska, Vsetín , s. 154-177
- David Kolumber, Studijní ústav ve Zlíně, Sborník konference: Recenzovaný sborník příspěvků vědecké konference s mezinárodní účastí Sapere Aude 2014, Hradec Králové 2014, s. 302-307
- Tomáš Mikuláštík, Kulturní aktivity ve Zlíně v druhé polovině třicátých let / Kulturaktivitäten in Zlín in der zweiten Hälfte 30-er Jahre, Zlínský funkcionalismus: Funktionalismus von Zlín, Zlín 1991, s. 62-66
- Mečislav Kuraš, Vladimír Balthasar, František Kadlec, Studijní ústav ve Zlíně: (založen 1935), Zlín 1940
The space at the top of the future boulevard had been perceived as an exclusive place since the second half of the 1920s. The Zlín architect František Lýdie Gahura, after whom the boulevard is named, placed the cinema building in its middle in his visionary plan of Zlín of the Future from 1927, and surrounded it with boarding school buildings in a circle. Although the project was not fully implemented, the subsequent different feel of the place in the 1930s only confirmed its exclusivity.
Free-standing buildings of the technological and study institute (later renamed Study institute I) and Study institute II closed náměstí Průkopníků (today's náměstí T. G. Masaryka). In the sloping terrain of the boulevard, the buildings were completed by parallel rows of girls and boys dormitories. At the same time, on the horizontal level, both blocks of buildings impressively enclosed the building of the Tomas Bata Memorial. According to Gahura's unrealised project, two more parallel objects were to be added above the two existing study institutes. The hub of the four study institutes was to be the crystal-like building of the Memorial, to which the buildings were to be connected by glass corridors.
The impressive architectural concept of the upper part of the boulevard had an equally considered ideological aspect. Due to their location, the study-memory institutions in the upper part of the boulevard formed the opposite pole of the rational and technical environment of factory production in its lower part. In the institutes that complete the "normalisation" goals entrusted to the school district in building a new industrial person, contemporary ideas about the scientific way of managing a society, in which institutions form an ideal and at the same time normal member of the corporate team, were fulfilled.
The immediate purpose of the study institutes was to provide a broader education for the employees of the Baťa company and the inhabitants of the town. These were not ordinary school facilities; their aim was to follow on from the programmes of the existing Zlín educational institutions. The institutes had to serve the varying requirements of the entire Baťa employee population, so they were structured into several departments to cover the needs of incoming juvenile employees with higher middle-class education, adult graduates of vocational schools, and qualified employees of the company with technical and business educations. Tuition took the form of short-term courses taking place in the early evening after work and on Saturdays.
The study institutes had classrooms, laboratories, and specially-adapted exhibition halls. The exhibits were made available not only for viewing, but it was also possible to test the functionality of selected objects. In addition to the above, both buildings were also used for other pedagogical purposes. In the building of the Study Institute I there were classrooms utilised by the Baťa School of work. In the Study Institute II classrooms were used by the Spolkové reálné gymnázium (Union Real Grammar School), and in 1939 the School of Art also acquired premises there.
The buildings of the study institutes with a layout consisting of a central corridor flanked by two rows of classrooms were built using the standard construction of multi-storey buildings, which were built by the Baťa company in the 1930s. They had a load-bearing reinforced concrete frame structure, infill masonry made on the perimeter of hollow bricks and inside the building of thermal concrete, large double wooden windows covering more than half of the outer shell of the building, and a flat, cardboard-covered roof. Some specifics, such as the shape and layout of the rooms, comfortable stairs on both sides of the buildings, and the red colour of the cement screed floors, were related to the exhibition and educational content of both institutes. The buildings differed from each other in some details. The first study institute had 5 floors and in the eastern part it had a basement under 6 fields. The clear height of the basement was 3m, while for other floors it was 4m. The Study Institute II had four floors, but due to the slope of the building plot, it had five floors in the seven fields in the eastern half of the structure.
The contents of the Study Institute I was stable for a long time; the biggest change was the moving of the newspaper archive (clipping service) to the vacated fifth floor in 1940. This remained so until the war moved through the territory in May 1945, when part of the building was engulfed in fire. A large part of the exhibits as well as the library, film, and photographic collections were irretrievably destroyed. After the damage was removed, the premises were adapted for the needs of the Zlín District National Committee and the Tax Administration. With the construction of the new administrative building for the Joint National Committee in 1952, the Střední průmyslová škola (Secondary Industrial School) was moved into the vacant premises of the Study Institute. In the following years, the building hosted several more high school educational institutions. Today, it has been the seat of the Gymnázium and Jazyková škola s právem státní jazykové zkoušky (Grammar School and Language School with the Right to a State Language Exam) for many years.
In contrast to its neighbouring building, the Study Institute II had a significantly more colourful fate. In addition to its educational activities, it also hosted the tax and customs office during the war. In the years 1941–1942, the Study Institute II underwent a partial adaptation. Four experimental workshops were built on the first floor: photographic, carpentry, engineering, and printing. The original exhibition areas on the 4th and 5th floors were then converted into temporary accommodation. A significant change in the character of the institute was brought about in the year 1951, when the building was assigned to the regional units of the Sbor národní bezpečnosti (National Security Corps). Today, the building houses the territorial department of the Police of the Czech Republic.
In the post-war period, both buildings underwent several renovation works in the interior and exterior, and extensions were completed on the south side, which disrupt the original master plan. In addition, a fenced car park was created around the Study Institute II, which prevents the smooth transition of green areas into the open countryside. The facade was insulated and the original windows were carelessly replaced with plastic ones, which disrupted the original rhythm of the façades. In 2020, a memorial plaque commemorating the activities of the School of Art was installed on the building.