Jalta Palace, one of the long-abandoned historic functionalist buildings in the center of Brno, is opening its gates to the public today. Photo credit: Zenon Moreau.
Brno, Jun 5 (BD) – Jalta Palace is a five-floor multi-functional building on Dominikánské náměstí, and a protected cultural monument of the Czech Republic. It was built in 1928-29 as an apartment building with a commercial arcade and the Bio Moderna cinema in the basement, and was designed by renowned Czech engineer Jaroslav Polívka, a collaborator of Frank Lloyd Wright.
According to the Brno Architecture Manual, Jalta was acquired in 1929 by the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), which intended to set up lodgings for women and girls on the upper floors. In 1934, however, the palace went into the hands of the state. In 1989, it was returned to private ownership and changed hands a few times before being purchased by the city of Brno in 2006. In 2016, the administration of Mayor Petr Vokřál (ANO) sold the palace to a private investor, Premiere Properties, for CZK 101 million.
The Brno Architecture Manual describes the intended use of the building: “The large display windows on the ground floor were, like the areas of the arcade, intended for commercial purposes, while the first and second floors housed offices. The upper floors, the topmost of which has a terrace, were for residential purposes.”
Today, at 3pm, Deputy Mayor Oliver Pospíšil attended the ceremonial opening of the building. The investors have attempted to return the legendary Brno palace to its original function as a shopping mall and office building. “Jalta is a famous property in the city of Brno, which is unfortunately abandoned. We want to reopen it to the public to bring it back to life. The investment is demanding; we estimate the cost of the reconstruction at CZK 100 million,” said Richard Saliba, a representative of Premiere Properties, in 2016.