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Functionalism In the High Tatras

On my February’s wandering the High Tatras (Slovakia), the functionalist hotel in Horný Smokovec caught my eye, on the present – the apartment-hotel Poľana.  It stands above the main road from Starý Smokovec to Tatranská Lomnica. Its beautiful curves remind that, after the creation of Czechoslovakia  in 1918, the functionalism pierced into Tatras, where modernist villas, hotels and medical institutions have been built in the spirit of this style. There is not too many of them, but they are pleasure to the eye.  The hotel is rich in roomy loggias which are compartmented with yellow glass. Sunny terraces reign the top of the building.  An austere concept of the building is smoothed and enriched by two curvaceous parts with interesting relief and railing on apse terraces.

The building was built in 1929, named as Fortuna hotel. The hotel was built by Czech hotelier Karl Valaška, who in the 20’s of the 20th century simultaneously worked as a charterer of the Silesian house and a former Chamois cottage (Chata Kamzík). Back then, the hotel had 25 rooms and restaurant with café. Between wars, in 1936, the new owner Judita Szászová, a wife of a chief surgeon from Starý Smokovec, established children’s apartment-hotel Helios there. After the nationalization, the object has changed to labor convalescent home, which is known as Poľana from 1952. The name of the apartment-hotel lasts to this day.

I was curious, whether the interior of the hotel is as resourceful as whole building, so I set foot in. To my surprise, the only thing that reminds functionalism is railing on the stairs and maybe hinged door facing to the dining room.  The interior is a mixture of furniture from various decades, and don’t correspond with the architecture style of this building, which is shame, because there is not so many functionalist buildings in Tatras.  Currently, the apartment-hotel Poľana offers the accommodation in the middle price range.  It stands on a place, which is remembered by old Tatras’s residents, as Lovely view (Pekná výhliadka), because it offers a magnificent view of the Slavkovský štít (High Tatras).

Photos by Retro Moderna

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children’s apartment-hotel Helios

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