The Morava convalescent home in Tatranská Lomnica, view from the side of the accommodation quarters, 1962

H. Ruttkayová, Archív Pamiatkoveho úradu SR

The Sleeping Beauty of Functionalism? The Morava Convalescent Home in Tatranská Lomnica and the Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Kvetnica

The interwar period was an era of unprecedented building development in the area of the High Tatra mountains, at a time when the regional architecture was prepared to accept the experiments imported from the Czech architectonic scene. These avant-garde and indeed extravagant contemporary efforts have resulted in an architectonically unusual legacy of several valuable and exemplary Functionalist buildings. However, at present, most of them are in a situation where they must cope with exaggerated proportions, capacity or the consequences of experiments with building design in an earlier era. Indeed, the discussions once held on the appropriateness of the dimensions of these sometimes colossal sanatorium buildings are still a current. Nowadays, many of these valuable objects have to struggle with identical problems and share a similar fate of poor condition, danger of further decline, and a highly uncertain future. Most of them are marked, to a greater or lesser degree, by unsystematic and frequently insensitive adaptations in the course of their almost century-old existence. Even today, the situation has scarcely improved: examples of complex reconstructions are rare, while the method of modernization or adaptation with inadequate material substitutions is predominant. Because of the unsatisfactory condition of most of the Functionalistic sanatoriums, the topic of preservation, renewal and renovation of these buildings becomes especially compelling. In our contribution, we have tried to describe common features and most noticeably the problems of this building type, as well as perspectives of their future existence. These questions are illustrated through two examples of this typological unit, which are linked by their identical period of creation, similar function, location in alpine region and the same current fate. First is the well-known Functionalist landmark of the Morava Convalescent Home built in 1931 – 1933 in Tatranská Lomnica, designed by Bohuslav Fuchs and Karl Ernstberger. In the introduction, the contribution is concerned with analyses of the building’s creation, its background and questions about authorship of the project. It summarizes results of detailed research realized ten years ago and evaluates the present condition of building in conclusion. The second example is the almost unknown TBC sanatorium in the mountain spa of Kvetnica near Poprad. Shortly before creation of this modern hospital building in 1930 – 1931, the author of this project, Gustav Kulhavý, designed the sanatorium for Medical Insurance Office of Czechoslovak State Railways in thermal spa Trenčianske Teplice….

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Download PDF