The newly-renovated store-front. Credit: Brno-střed district.

Historic Shop Window on Koblizna In Brno City Centre Returned To Its Original Functionalist Form

A shop window on Kobližná in the centre of Brno has seen a significant transformation. The dilapidated shop frontage underwent a sensitive reconstruction, to restore its functionalist character from the First Republic.

Located at Kobližná 9, the storefront is part of a listed building from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Until recently, it was in poor technical condition and was not fully utilised. The Brno-střed municipal district therefore decided to carry out the necessary renovation and restoration work.

The store-front before recent renovation… Credit: Brno-střed district

“Throughout the reconstruction, we wanted to preserve the historical appearance of the display units as much as possible, so we consulted on the investment with historical experts,” said Martin Drdla (ANO), Brno-střed district councillor for investment and management of apartment buildings. “In order for the current appearance to stand out, store operators are not allowed to put up any signs in the windows. At the same time, we are regulating visual smog.” 

The two storefronts on the property come from different historical periods. The right-hand section, with functionalist elements, was created in the 1930s and has particular architectural value. When it was first built, it served the needs of the Medek and Hiss toy stores there. In the 1980s, the building underwent modifications. Only a few elements and one photograph have survived from the original version. The spaces on the left came from the era of socialist realism.

…and in its original 1930s form. Credit: Brno-střed district.

The reconstruction brought unification of the entire parterre of the house. Thanks to this, the shop window now has a uniform style. “We decided to unify the parterre according to the functionalist model,” said Roman Strnad from TheBüro studio, which designed the final modifications. “Among other things, its characteristic detail is the rounded glazing of the entrances, which is preserved on the shop on the right according to the original concept, with two entrances. There is a new addition to the drugstore on the left. Noble materials in an uncoated appearance are used for elegant black-polished stainless steel slats, natural travertine, and a green panel above the shop windows, which is made of naturally coloured glass.” 

The construction work lasted several months and included the reconstruction of storefronts, modification of the facade and entrances to the historic house, and new heating. In recent years, the city district has carried out parterre repairs in other locations in the city centre, including storefronts in Orlí, Solniční and Jánská, which also underwent sensitive reconstruction with an emphasis on preserving the city’s historical character.

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