Architect Vladimír Karfík, his period and architecture

Michaela Slabeyová


Architect Vladimír Karfík was one of the most influential Czechoslovak and Slovak architects. His life, professional career and his work reflected a lot of changes characteristic for the 20th century. He cooperated with many famous creators of the modern architecture all over the world. His personal enchantment and his participation in well-known studios of the first half of the 20th century helped preserve legends about him. As a developer of the functionalistic architecture style in Zlín, he became one of the fathers of the modern Czechoslovak architecture.
His main legacy does not lie only in the field of architecture, he was also very productive as an educator, university professor and writer. He assisted to base and create the first Slovak faculty of architecture – The Faculty of Architecture at SVŠT (Slovak University of Technology) in Bratislava. As a pedagogue and cooperator, he always introduced a direct and open version of the liberal discussion. He always held his typical pragmatic attitude, which helped him, thanks to his long life, get all over the 20th century, rich for many complicated periods and epochs.
Vladimír Karfík understood architecture as a concrete result of various components and the architectural task, which is determining. Out of components, the most important task was always played by function, construction, economy and beauty. Because of this, his architecture is very understandable and universal in all periods of his life and even today.

Keywords: functionalism, Vladimír Karfík, architect, biography, work, Zlín, Czechoslovakia