The Tomáš Baťa Memorial in Zlín

The Tomáš Baťa Memorial, Zlín Building Restoration, Czech Republic Architecture

The Tomáš Baťa Memorial in Zlín

Building Modernisation in Czech Republic – renovation design by Petr Všetečka / TRANSAT architekti

22 Jul 2019

The Tomáš Baťa Memorial

Architect of the renovation: Petr Všetečka / TRANSAT architekti

Location: Zlín Region, Czech Republic

The Tomáš Baťa Memorial

The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin

The building by František Lýdie Gahura, opened one year after the death of Tomáš Baťa, is the most valuable monument of the Zlín constructivism and the highlight of the so-called “Baťa architecture” phenomenon. At the first glance the idea for the monument is simple: an empty prism placed on a visible spot above the town, on the central axis of the ascending park space, made up of several modules of the Zlín 6.15 x 6.15 m frame and clad only with cathedral glass. Inside, only the ill-fated Junkers F 13 aircraft in which Tomáš Baťa died in 1932.

The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin

Gahura reduced the monument to three basic materials of Zlín architecture – concrete, steel and glass that were supposed to, together with the building’s composition, express the unique attributes of Tomáš Baťa: generosity, clarity, aspiration, optimism, simplicity, honesty and truth.

The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin

The execution of the standardised frame as a single column hall and a three-aisled space at the same time, variable height of the space and dispersed natural light brought the stripped-down Zlín constructivism closer to sacral buildings of the ancient and medieval times, without using any historical shapes.

The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin

This was enhanced by the consistent vertical concept of the building. Gahura explained it by the fact that the purpose of the building is ideological and with this verticality, weightlessness, and simplicity of the one-directional sectioning, the monument expresses specific traits of Baťa’s character.

The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin

The monument was built without any technical or sanitary facilities – it was actually a greenhouse with no possibilities for heating, water supply, or toilets.

The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin

In the 50’s it was rebuilt to be a concert hall and gallery and with it the monument lost its architectural qualities. The name of Tomáš Baťa was erased from memory.

The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin

The comprehensive renewal of the original state of the monument, in preparation for 18 years, aimed again toward simplicity and reduction of all dispensable equipment that is usual in today’s buildings. All of the operational, technical and service elements and spaces are located separately from the monument. The core meaning of the building consists in the visitor’s experience of the space and light, in slowing down and contemplation. Due to the fact that the structure is an internationally acclaimed monument of modern architecture, the project had high aspirations in terms of quality of the renewal. For many of the building elements a restoration approach was chosen, common with the most valued historic buildings.

The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin

Given the monument’s place in the structure of Zlín, the building is also a light-landmark of the town. The possibility of using the building for reverential and social events or exhibitions will always be limited with regard to the ideological and architectural essence of the monument and the austere conditions of its interior environment. The dominant of the interior is a new model of the Junkers F 13 aircraft.

The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin

The Tomáš Baťa Memorial, Zlín – Building Information

Architect of the original building: František Lýdie Gahura
Architect of the renovation: Petr Všetečka / TRANSAT architekti
Collaborators: Karel Menšík, Alena Všetečková, Petr Daniel

The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin

Project location: Náměstí T. G. Masaryka 2570, Zlín, Czech Republic
Project year: 2012 – 2016
Completion year: 2016 – 2019
Built-up area: 680 sqm
Usable floor area: 1592 sqm
Enclosed volume: 9200 m3

The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin

Investor: The City of Zlín (monument renewal) in cooperation with the Zlín region (spaces inside the Gymnasium building) and the Tomáš Baťa Foundation (the model of the Junkers aircraft)

The Tomas Bata Memorial Zlin

Photographers: Jakub Skokan, Martin Tůma / BoysPlayNice

The Tomáš Baťa Memorial in Zlín images / information received 220719

Location: Zlín, Czech Republic




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