Baťa’s house: The disappearing elements of Zlín’s architecture

22/ 03/2018 – LECTURE

Brno’s Baťovský domek: The disappearing elements of Zlín’s architecture, dedicated to housing in family houses built in Zlín by the shoe company Baťa.

During the evening, three of the authors of the book – Barbora Vacková, Klára Eliášová and Jitka Ressová – talk about the development of the building typology of the houses, the demands of the company on their inhabitants and the changes that occurred during almost a hundred years in anticipation of what is good quality housing.

The publication presents, from several perspectives, the accommodation policy of the Bata company, which developed especially in the interwar period at an exceptionally fast pace and significantly transformed the face of the city. It describes the architecture of workers’ houses, the system of their construction and mediates the company’s procedures when allocating houses to employees. It shows that living in a rented modern house, at the time of its high residential standard, has also brought about a specific lifestyle, deliberately formed by the group. Part of the pictorial part of the book is the newly acquired author’s photographs Libor Stavjanika, which capture the state of several Zlín family houses preserved in the original, non-reconstructed form. In most cases, Stavjanik captured the houses just before their reconstruction, and thus documented the no longer existing state.

Bára Vacková is a sociologist working at the Faculty of Social Studies of MU, she deals with urban sociology and sociology of living.

Klára Eliášová is a historian of architecture and member of the 4AM Forum for Architecture and Media, devoted to the architecture of industrial enterprises and factories.

Jitka Ressová is an architect, she has long been engaged in Baťa’s family housing and possibilities of its current use. She is a member of the Ellement architectural office, which also runs infopoint of Baťa’s living in Baťa’s single-room in Zlín.

The book and the long-term exhibition at Infopoint are the output of the NAKI II project (Industrial City and Its Changes in the 20th Century: Culture, Identity and Order of the Urban Industrial Company on the Example of “Ideal City” in Zlín). The National Technical Museum and Masaryk University.

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