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Breda, the old department store
Mlýnková, Petra ; Mašek, Radomír (referee) ; Marek, Jiří (advisor)
ABSTRACT The diploma thesis project deals, as its name suggests, with a former department store, so called „The old Breda“, which was built between 1927-28 in the then capital of Austrian Silesia, the Opava City. The department store is an architectural masterpiece, you will hardly find another department store of this kind in the whole of former Czechoslovakia. In 1972, it was declared a cultural monument. Today, we can understand it as an accurate testimony to what the city of Opava was a hundred years ago, how it has gradually changed and what it is like today. The building and its fate is also a frequently mentioned topic for the Opavans themselves, as the building itself reminds them of pleasant feelings and memories of the experience of its space. In this context, the central space under the dome, illuminated by glass-concrete blocks, is often inflected by people. Together with stained glass windows, lighted display cases and the creaking wooden steps of a large staircase, it offers visitors a truly unique atmosphere and moment. The reason why the building itself leaves a strong trace of nostalgia in each person is quite obvious and indisputable. It is a building of immense architectural quality, which the Silesian native from Krnov, known as the Viennese architect Leopold Bauer, offers to the local people through his work. Although there is no doubt that Bauer was a genius in his field, which I was able to see again and again during my research, we must not forget the fact that the whole project was possible to happen only thanks to the wealth and initiative of David Weinstein, businessman and owner of Breda & Weinstein company. However, Weinstein did not enjoy the building and its fame for very long and if you look at the time, the place and context and the fact that Weinstein was of Jewish descent, you will find out the reason why. The cruel fate thus befell his family, as did almost all Jews at the time (not only) in Opava. In 1945, during the Ostrava-Opava operation, Opava was almost completely reduced to ashes, and after the war, there were this time Germans who were to be completely expelled from Czechoslovakia. At that time, the building was called German because Breda and Weinstein spoke German. This was followed by privatization and the associated further changes in the property and also layout of the building. In 1994, in addition to the misfortune, the building was acquired „for sale“ by the local bussinesman Kolek, which meant a way to Breda to complete destruction. There was even a fire, which blackened the dome‘s otherwise light concrete. Since 2012, when the house was closed and taken out of operation, it has only fallen into disrepair. It was also in insolvency proceedings. However, in the eyes and hearts of the proud Opavans, the building still leaves strong recognition and feelings that did not allow the building to be abandoned, people put pressure on the politicians from the city for a long time, until in December 2021 the ciity approved the purchase of the building. However, this step opened up more and more questions and problems. Nobody knows what to do now. There is no intention. It is only clear that the reconstruction will be very costly. With my work based on analyzes from the last semester and studying the data of available research, I try to show the city how it could handle the building.

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