20. 2. 2014
Zlín boasts geometrically pure architecture
The city of Zlín, which is located in the region of Central Moravia, is nowadays inherently linked to the name Tomáš Baťa, whose footwear company nowadays provides the whole world with shoes. The swift rise of his company laid the foundations for spectacular development of the city and imprinted it with a unique character. Experience the remarkable atmosphere of the city with its well preserved Functionalist architecture. Zlín is dominated by the so-called Baťa Skyscraper, which was the second highest building in Europe when it was built.
The calm development of the city gained a new impulse during the industrial revolution and later, above all thanks to the businessman Tomáš Baťa. Baťa was born into the family of a poor cobbler. In 1894, he founded his own shoemaking company and began to make shoes under his own name. Instead of expensive leather, he began to use canvas, so almost everybody could afford to buy “Baťovky” shoes and sales increased. After returning from the USA, he built the first modern factory in Zlín in 1900 and installed state-of-the-art shoe-making machines. Over the course of a few years and thanks to his conscientious work, he managed to establish a complete shoe-making empire, which expanded as far as India and Brazil. Thirty or so other towns sprung up around Baťa’s factories the world over.
The Golden Age of Zlín
Together with the boom of the shoe-making plant, the whole city also experienced major growth. Tomáš Baťa invited renowned architects of that time to Zlín, including such names as Le Corbusier, Jan Kotěra and František Gahura, and together they imprinted a Functionalist character on the city. Gabra designed the first types of family houses and became the town architect.
Take a trip up the skyscraper!
Over the 1920s and 1930s, typical colonies of “Baťa” houses sprung up together with other buildings in the spirit of modern Functionalism. The most striking building is however the so-called Baťa Skyscraper, which was the second highest building in Europe with its height of 77.5 metres. Jan Baťa, Tomáš Baťa’s brother, located his company management in the building and equipped it with the famous lift office in which he himself worked.
Lots of attractions for children
The city is popular today among fans of children’s films, who meet here every year. The International Festival of Films for Children and Young People is the largest children’s film festival in the world. Children can also enjoy themselves in the zoological gardens in the nearby Lešná Zoo.
Discover Baťa’s Zlín with its unique architecture!