One of Slovakia’s most important architects, Juraj Tvarožek (1887-1966), born in Brezová pod Bradlom, who is generally known as a master of Functionalism.
Tvarožek was first in Slovakia to use a concrete framework with a light, hanging glass wall in his design for the Town Savings Bank in Bratislava. He did not study higher education, but attended drawing classes and took civil engineering exams. He was born into a family of blacksmiths and since childhood had always wanted to become a painter. In 1898 to 1903 he studied at high school in Bratislava, but coming from a poor family he was forced to study bricklaying. Later between 1904 and 1907 he studied at the State Industrial School in Budapest. After completing his studies he was employed by the Prague architect Alois Dryák, who was then working on the memorial of František Palacký and St. Václav. Tvarožek also attended evening classes in drawing with professor Beneš. In 1911 to 1914 he worked at the studio of Milan Michal Harminec and Robert Flesch in Budapest. He was paid for his design of the Calvinist church. In 1914 he enlisted in the army and was captured. He designed a new mining town. Later, as a member of the Czechoslovak Legion he lived in the USA for a short time and after returning to his homeland he passed his architectural exams in Prague. From 1920 on, he worked in Bratislava, where he settled permanently and began working independently. In 1944 he fought in the Slovak National Uprising, but in the 1950s was arrested along with many others who had fought against fascism. Following his discharge from prison he suffered poor health and died in his home village of Brezová pod Bradlom on 12 January 1966, where he is buried. As a designer, Juraj Tvarožek was greatly inspired by the folk architecture and art of Myjava.
He was one of the most important Slovak architects of the interwar period, and his work contributed to the development of modern architecture in Slovakia. After 1920 he mainly designed family houses and villas. His first project was in Bratislava on a villa belonging to his brother Tomáš begun in 1921. In 1927 he won the design competition for the municipal savings bank on Stone Square in Bratislava, a masterpiece in Czechoslovak Functionalist architecture, mainly due to the non-traditional way in which the facade is divided up. From the period of 1927-1928, his most important work includes a house with a cinema and a café, the Metropol in Bratislava. In 1929 he won first prize along with A Dryák and K Chlumecký in a Bratislava town planning competition.He designed many elementary schools and the Slávia sports complex in Petržalka in 1932 and in 1941 the Slovak cereal company building – now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Juraj Tvarožek’s architecture - Post Office 1 in Žilina – still serves the needs of the townspeople and is an important landmark standing at the junction of Sládkovičova Street and Hurbanova Street. There is a plaque on the post office wall dedicated to a communications employee - Eduard Gajdoš - who died in October 1944 fighting the German occupiers. Post Office 1 in Žilina has a rich history, but it is worth mentioning an event that occurred during the early days of the Slovak National Uprising, when four LT – 38 tanks and a self-propelled armoured vehicle from the assault regiment came from Turčiansky St. Martin to assist Žilina. On the morning of 30 August 1944 they carried out reconnaissance of the town centre, arriving at the Post office.
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