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BATA House of Shoes

Bratislava, Slovakia
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The Bata department store is characterised primarily by its open interior plan and austere facade enlivened only by the lighted advertisements.

During the design, the architect was forced to rework the original conception so that the bulk of the store did not block the view of the historic St. Michael's Tower. As a result, he placed at the corner a low two-storey section, with the more distant mass rising to five storeys. The architectural effect is based on the lighting of the industrial ribbon windows, and the nocturnal effect of the strip of neon lining the entire facade, Though the result lacks the refinement of Karfik's best work in Zlin, it has become a key Bratislava landmark. During reconstruction (Peter Valach, Andrej Gurtler) in the early 1990s, a new staircase was added to the rear facade, and the surviving original fittings removed. A later reconstruction (Pavol Mrazek, Iveta Rakova) enlarged the sales areas and inserted a lift-shaft at the centre of the sales floors.