1 rating
History Culture
Machnáč Spa House is a building in Trenčianske Teplice, the author of which is the Czech architect Jaromír Krejcar. In the interwar period, this spa house belonged to the peaks of functionalist architecture in the entire former Czechoslovakia.

Spa house Machnáč - Trenčianske Teplice

Machnáč Spa House is a building in Trenčianske Teplice, the author of which is the Czech architect Jaromír Krejcar. In the interwar period, this spa house belonged to the peaks of functionalist architecture in the entire former Czechoslovakia.

About the architect

Jaromír Krejcar is one of the most important Czech architects of the interwar period. The best known are two of his works: the famous Czech-Slovak Pavilion at the International Exhibition of Art and Technology in Modern Life in Paris from 1937 and the Machnáč Spa House in Trenčianske Teplice. He designed several spa buildings, such as the spa house in Karlovy Vary (1931), the sanatorium project in Poděbrady (1931), the competition proposal for the tuberculosis sanatorium in Starý Smokovec (1932) and the competition proposal for the sanatorium in Vyšné Hágy (1932). However, he only managed to implement the design in Trenčianske Teplice. It is a former spa house of the Sick Treasury of private officials, which is today known as the Machnáč Spa House.

From competition to project

The project of the spa house came from an architectural competition in 1929, where Jaromír Krejcar won the first prize. The competition was announced by the Sickness Fund of Private Officials in Prague. Although the design foreshadowed the final appearance of the building, it still differed from it in some respects. After the competition, it underwent certain changes, the most important of which was the change of the symmetrical form of the floor plan to asymmetrical. The basic layout of the materials was in the form of a symmetrical letter T, the social part ended in a half-cylinder, the bed block had risalits from the west at the ends and there were strip windows on the east side. The balconies were here only in front of the extreme rooms.

The final project was created in August 1930, the building was built by the Bratislava branch of the Nekvasil company in 1932. In the final solution, the architect supported the asymmetricity of the composition. Balconies have been added to the sleeping area, and all double rooms have them. Thus, two asymmetrical fields were created on the facade: one with balconies and the other with windows only. The position of the social part has also changed and forms an asymmetric T with the bed block.

The influence of modernity

Sanatoriums have been a touchstone of modern architecture throughout the 1930s. Those designed by Prague architects in Slovakia were a typical example on which the abstract principles of modernity developed fully and freely, without too much regard for local conditions. The results were not always successful. Sometimes a problematic dimension of this "imported" modernism can be observed, such as insensitive access to the site.

Krejcar incorporated radical modern innovations into his project, but he did not miss the human dimension of architecture. Karel Teige appreciated the consistency and purity with which Krejcar implemented his functionalist concept. He even tried to present the sanatorium as a prototype of future socialist collective houses. Krejcar allegedly never managed to keep the construction budget, and even in this case the spa house became the most expensive Czech-Slovak building in the 1930s in terms of cost to volume.

Object architecture

At that time, the spa was still used only in the summer season. This also resulted in some parameters of the building, which today cause problems in its restoration. For example, the filling of the reinforced concrete skeleton was brick walls only 25 cm thick. Glazing in the social area, in the hallways and on the stairs is just simple. Only in the rooms is there double glazing in Kraus-type windows, which allow remarkable sliding of the window sash to the edge. This gives an impressive panoramic view of the park, which begins right at the spa. The six-storey accommodation part is a dispositional double wing. In the wide corridors there are freely placed columns, the diameter of which gradually decreases upwards on the individual floors. The retracted columns made it possible to create long sash windows on the west façade, quite in the spirit of Le Corbusier's principles of modern architecture.

The architecture of the spa house attracts with several remarkable elements. On the east side of the façade of the bed part are the balconies of the rooms with elegant metal railings, reminiscent of the Gropius Bauhaus in Dessau. The opposite side of the bed tract has continuous sash windows and creates a peaceful backdrop to a two-storey social tract with a roof terrace and a wide covered terrace on the first floor.

The pergolas of the terrace on the roof of the bed tract have an interesting, softening impression. Krejcar was very clearly based on the architecture or design of ships, which at that time represented a kind of aesthetic ideal. This steamy, nautical, metaphor is represented not only by the color white, metal railings, round windows, terraces resembling ship decks, but especially by the very rounded front of the social tract. Krejcar, who himself published the article Architecture of Transatlantic Steamships (LIFE II), was a promoter of these forms, which were characteristic of purist-functionalist architecture at the end of the twenties of the last century. In the spirit of this aesthetic, Machnáč even solves the shapes of chimney bodies on the roof of the building at the Machnáč Spa House.

Functionalist disposition

The architect paid great attention to a thorough solution of the layout of individual rooms. In the double he placed two single beds. An integrated part of the interior is a table, which is directly connected to the windowsill. Each room has a small hall with a wardrobe, a washbasin and a small rarity: a pedestal to support the foot when changing. There were shared toilets and bathrooms at both ends of the corridors. However, this cost-effective solution causes considerable problems today. On the lower, social-catering part, there are more pronounced rounded corners and all-glass walls. This is due to its adequate scale, mass proportions, but also its equipment. There were terraces on the roofs with sun showers, even sandpits that were supposed to resemble sea beaches.

Current status

Machnáč Spa House has been out of operation since 2002. Demands for the operation and comfort of similar facilities have changed significantly since the construction of the building. The building's heating is inefficient, the windows in the rooms cannot be closed well and heat escapes. The location of bathrooms and toilets in the corridors is already below current standards. Many deficiencies could be rectified during the restoration, but since it is a listed building, the reconstruction would be more difficult. The sign "for sale" has been hanging on the building for several years. Many windows are empty, several doors are missing and the windows are wide open. The building is not secured and is freely accessible. However, its eventual insensitive and violent reconstruction also carries the risk of irreplaceable loss of the original and historical value, which far exceeds the borders of Slovakia.

Updated on: 8.9.2021

Opening hours


Not specified


Spa house Machnáč - Trenčianske Teplice
Trenčianske Teplice
Machnáč - liečebný dom, 914 51 Trenčianske Teplice
Trenčianske Teplice
Region: Trenčiansky
District: Trenčín
Area: Stredné Považie
 48.907769501863, 18.173587272432

Trenčianske Teplice
Machnáč - liečebný dom, 914 51 Trenčianske Teplice
Trenčianske Teplice

Show contact

tips on experience around Events