Partizánske - Bata's ideal industrial town

Partizánske was form as an ideal industrial town for a Czechoslovak entrepreneur Baťa. Zlín, located in the centre of former Czechoslovakia, became a headquarter of Baťa concern. Fear from coming war and uncertain future initiated Baťa's decentralised economy and building new satellite towns across the whole world. All new towns were based on his entrepreneurial philosophy and on the principles of the garden city, which were tested in Zlín.

Baťa, known as 'a shoemaker to the world', saw the potential especially in undeveloped regions and built his satellite towns in places suffering from poverty and hunger. Many of his towns contain ‘Baťa’ in their names: Batatuba in Brasil, Batapur in Pakistan, Bataville in France, Batanagar in India, Batawa in Canada, Batadorp in Holland and Baťovany – a former name for Partizánske.  

Baťovany was built on an empty green meadow, surrounded by small agrarian villages. Construction works started in 1930 and the production started only one year later. The town took a shape of a triangle. The factory, as the dominance over the town was built on the Northern edge and was separated from the rest of the town by a green zone. The town centre – the centre of a social life, also called the Labour Square, was connected with the factory through a wide promenade, leading people every day to their place of work. Identical housing built for factory workers was designed without fences to support workers’ good relationships. Following the idea of a factory in the garden, greenery was an inevitable part of the new town.  

Baťovany was built predominantly as a social utopia, with plenty of cultural and social benefits for workers. Baťa established ‘Baťa’s school of labour’, where he educated his future employees as responsible and conscious people. He was convinced, that workers’ happiness will secure the company’s success.

16665103_1648222138814144_7931360742898907885_ojpg                   After political changes and arrival of the communism, the Baťa factory was nationalised and renamed to ‘Factory of the 29th August’ (Závody 29. augusta, ZDA). The town was renamed to Partizánske and Baťa pictured as an enemy, a capitalist benefiting from his employees. Workers’ pride and gratitude towards Baťa was stronger than the regime and therefore the town was developed according to its original plan until 60’s, when the socialist architects definitely took the control over its future development.

After the fall of the communism, the factory was privatised and sold for a symbolical 1 Slovak koruna (former Slovak currency; 1 Slovak koruna = 0.04 EUR). Compared to 16 000 employees before the fall of communism, around 60 different companies with 1900 employees inhabit the areal of former factory at the moment. However, the majority of the buildings is decaying and high expenses needed for their reconstruction puts all possible investors off. The future of Baťa factory in Partizánske remains uncertain.
dsc_1081jpgdsc_1124jpgdsc_1142jpgdsc_1094jpgdsc_1164jpgdsc_1145jpgdsc_1111jpgdsc_1097jpgdsc_1108jpg               Structural frame used for the factory blocks provided freedom in internal layout and was used also for buildings with different functions, such as schools, hotel and apartment blocks, giving the city its character and unity.
dsc_1171jpgdsc_1181copyjpgdsc_1219copyjpgdsc_1186jpg                 Residential quarter highly changed its appearance. Individual houses were extended, insulated or added a new colour. All plots were divided by the fences and perimeter walls.