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Centrum Department Store (Obchodní dům Centrum)

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  • Tomáš Baťa’s attempt at first skyscraper in Europe

  • Baťa’s favourite architect had US experience

  • Eva Jiřičná’s completion design never implemented

The skyscraper that would never reach the clouds

Tomáš Baťa planned to build the first skyscraper in Europe at Malinovského náměstí (Malinovsky Square). He contacted the architect Vladimír Karfík, who designed a building of twenty-three floors. Due to the unstable terrain, however, the number of floors in the design stopped at a mere eight.

After World War II, Baťa’s company was replaced by the Centrum Department Store. The building was later inconsiderately remodelled and lost its distinctive division of horizontal stripes of clear and white glass.

Several designs for the completion of the skyscraper have been submitted over the years. One of them, a 2008 design by the architect Eva Jiřičná, furthers the building’s original interwar aesthetics and adds eleven more floors with apartments and green terraces. The design has not yet been approved by the Brno authorities responsible for preservation, however, and so the skyscraper has yet to be completed.

Address and contact

Kobližná 24
60200 Brno

Centrum Department Store

Brno Architecture Manual – a guide to 1918–1945 architekture

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