Czechoslovakia: Fr. Borovy, 1931. First edition. Original Cloth. Octavo, pp. 169, b/w illustrations and photographs. Chapters include: The Self-Sufficient House, The American Residence, American Furniture, Some Curiosities of American Buildings, The American Window, Single-Story Houses, Five-Room Two=Story Houses, Larger Single-Family Houses, Duplexes, Cottages, and Choosing a Parcel of Land. Very good. Item #19066
A former Czech Legionnaire soldier captured in Russia, Zenaty emigrated to America where he gained citizenship and wrote Zeme Pruhu a Hvezd (The Land of Stars and Stripes). Fascinated by this book, the owner of the Bata shoe empire, Tomas Bata, invited Zenati back across the ocean to Zlin to work as a public relations writer and architect on model designs for the residential colony for Bata workers. A novelty in the Czechoslovak modernist landscape, these detached single-family brick houses, strongly influenced by American residential designs of the 1920s, were intended as models of practicality, efficiency and hygiene and still stand as a monument to the convergence of European and American modernist housing aesthetics.
Cover design by Karel Teige, an interesting choice for book designer since Teige, perhaps the most influential theoretical proponent for functionalist architecture in Czechoslovakia at the time, had since the late 1920s pushed for Soviet-styled apartment buildings with minimum dwellings and shared facilities. A scarce and exotic piece of Americana.