Masarykova 434/19, Orlí 434/2 (Město Brno) Brno Střed
Public transport: Zelný trh (TRAM 4)
Hlavní nádraží (TRAM 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 13)
GPS: 49°11'34.893"N, 16°36'37.161"E
In 1931-32 textile industry entrepreneurs, Herbert and Friedrich Wittreich had a commercial and apartment block built on the corner of Orlí and Masarykova streets in the centre of the city. This multi-purpose urban building required a variety of layouts.
The six-level building is situated on a distinct corner location emphasized by the corner entrance and corner windows in the upper stories. The glassed-in ground floor housed Wittreich's and Deutsch's commercial areas and a snack counter accessible from Masarykova Street. The first floor was occupied offices of Union, a Prague-based insurance provider, and Deutsch's sales department, designed by architect Eisler, including the built-in furniture. The spatial variability of the layouts on individual floors was made possible by the ferro-concrete skeleton, the smooth pillars of which represent a distinctive esthetic feature on the ground and first floor. The upper floors featured apartments; the facade (originally also pale blue) is only segmented by the regular grid of windows.
This moderate and purist variation of the international style has its intriguing counterpart in a preserved earlier design by Eisler, dominated by ribbon windows on the upper floors. This functionalist element, together with neon lights and expressive stylization, induces the impression of a bustling city. The different, rational conception of the actual implementation is likely to have been demanded by economic as well as practical reasons respecting private apartments above the commercial areas.