Vladimír Karfík and skyscrapers

Jarmila Bencová


Among interesting inclinations of the architect Karfík, beside whole range of architectonical types which he thought out and projected, we may undoubtedly count high rising buildings. Skyscrapers were in the first decades of the 20th century reflected as real architectonical phenomena, which were perceived differently in Europe as opposed to America, the country of their birth. It is obvious not only from texts written back then, technical and technological descriptions, analyses, interpretations, but above all architectonical work. Skyscraper as an extreme, functionally and aesthetically always extraordinarily exposed buildings has even since its first realisations attracted attention not only for its physical structure, but also for its specific meanings, connotations, and allussions. Some of them are present in Karfík’s, mainly American, reflections, papers and projects, as well as in his extraordinary architectonical realisations from the interwar period.

Keywords: Brno, Baťa, Zlín, Vladimír Karfík, skyscrapers, America, New York, Liberec