Commercial and Residential House of the Jopek Family

Date 1937–1938
Architect Miroslav Lorenc
Code Z14
Address Sokolská 418, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Vysoká mez (TROL 4, 5)
GPS 49.2329942N, 17.6786861E

When Marie and Pavel Jopek applied for a permit to build a three-storey apartment building on Sokolská Street in July 1937, they joined the high-ranking families and businessmen who, in the uncertain times of the economic crisis, had an apartment building built combining residential and commercial functions as an investment. Pavel Jopek was the owner of a metal furniture factory. Its building still stands today just a few dozen metres from this apartment building, in the immediate vicinity of Bohumil Lacina's production building.
Sokolská Street is located within walking distance of the centre and underwent a major transformation during the 1930s. Next to the low houses with gable roofs, the street was filled with three-storey modern houses with flat roofs. The architect Miroslav Lorenc, who designed several terraced houses on Sokolská Street, designed also the apartment building.
In the first plans from 1937 marked with the stamp of the academic architect Miroslav Lorenc, a two-story building with a gable roof and an apartment in the attic appears. However, the plans from July of the same year show a change, the house being raised by one floor and the roof designed to be flat.
The main façade, facing the street, consists of a trio of three-part windows defining the residential part of the building. In the symmetrically divided ground floor, there are two business units with generous glass windows and the main entrance with double wing door located in the middle. The commercial parterre ends with a projecting subtle cornice, which probably also featured electric lighting. The 11-metre-long façade resembles many of the series of apartment buildings designed by Lorenc. 
The façade to the garden facing the adjacent, slightly sloping plot orientated to the north side is interestingly designed. This façade is dominated by a glazed hall located in the middle of the layout. Another element in the composition of the façade is the elongated balconies of individual apartments with subtle tubular railings. 
The interior design of the apartment building is determined by a staircase with a corridor connecting the individual floors. In each of them there are two apartment units, a one-room apartment with a kitchen, and a two-room apartment, again with a kitchen and service rooms. From the apartments on the first floor, it was also possible to enter onto the terrace, the foot of which was formed by the one-room apartments on the ground floor, adjacent to the commercial premises. The equipment was rather modest; in the bathroom there was a freestanding bathtub with a coal stove, and in the rooms and the kitchen there was plank flooring.
From archival documentation, we learn that in 1938 a separate sausage workshop was built in the garden. This smaller building was commissioned by František Dospíšil – a butcher and sausage maker who used one of the commercial units. 
The house was rented throughout the second half of the 20th century. The apartment units on the ground floor were abolished at the beginning of the 1960s at the latest, as the official documents show that only 6 apartments remained in the building. The former apartments most likely began to serve as warehouses and shop service rooms. In 1991, the house was in utter disrepair and gradually underwent renovation. It was insulated and the façades turned grey, the windows were replaced, but the original three-part division was preserved. From the courtyard façade, the central semi-circular corridor with a reinforced concrete staircase as well as the original subtle balconies are worth noting. 


The commercial and residential building of the Jopek family is reminiscent of the most numerous group of commissions that the architect Lorenc designed during the 1930s. Compared to Lorenc's other realisations, the house is in relatively good condition and still serves its original purpose. Its immediate surroundings have changed, and a pair of similar two-storey houses by architect Eduard Oškera from Znojmo were added on the eastern side. In 1966, another four-storey residential building completed the row of houses.