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Collective house in Zlín

Zlín, Czech Republic
1 of 3Zlínský kolektivní dům

The collective house in Zlín is a unique housing project of its time. Though the idea of collective housing reaches into the first three decades of the 20th century, it was first built after World War II. The architect of the one in Zlín was Jiří Voženílek, who was one of Bata's architects.

As was typical with the collective house type, the units in the building had no kitchens, only a small sink and stove, and the apartments themselves were organized for family living, with one or two private bedrooms. Community amenities included a roof deck, full-service dining room, bar, and a laundry on the ground floor, as well as an elementary school and nursery in an adjoining building.

Stylistically, Voženílek was more self-conscious than other Zlín architects in his attempt to mimic the factory architecture. The building had a thick, exposed reinforced concrete frame, high-contrast brick infill, and horizontal bands of windows with alternating balconies. The central staircase was enclosed in glass block, an awkward choice for an already busy facade.