SANATORIUM  KRYM

Milan Šavlík

project 1969-73, realization 1975

The sanatorium Krym now partly stands at the location of the former hotel Grand. With its secession style, Hotel Grand had contributed to the romantic atmosphere of the spa centre for decades. However, due to its low capacity and unsuitable statics, it had not met the requirements of modern spa care anymore. In the late 1960´s, a decision was made to build a modern facility to increase the capacity and quality of care services provided. The project institute Zdravoprojekt was dealing with many assignments in the whole country, where most spas were confronted with the same problem. It resulted in a professional architectural and medical discussion about the form of modern balneology. The sanatorium Krym was supposed to offer not only accommodation, but also balneotherapeutic services. It includes the pool Krym filled up directly from the springs, and thus it expands the overextended nearby mirror pools. Employed by the Zdravoprojekt institute, architect Milan Šavlík, designed a truly impressive building, which carries the aesthetics of ocean steamers. It is thus an evolutionary descendant of the first-republic steamer Sanatorium Machnáč  anchoring nearby.  The cruise-ship tectonics is created by Krym´s horizontal stripes of slightly receding windowsills tiled with white limestone and its pyramidally sloping ‘bow’. The image is shaped by guests, who like to sit on sunny terraces in summer.  This concept used to be supported by an entry ramp (unfortunately not existing any more), leading to the first floor with the day part´s canteens. The ramp, symbolizing the public accessibility and formally resembling a harbour mooring, had to succumb to the pragmatic argument of ineffectiveness. The ground and first floor glass walls facing the square carry the mass of the accommodation part upwards, which makes it look elegantly lighter. The protruding bracket on the first deck of the accommodation part protects the parterre from rain, and thus creates a kind of spa colonnade. Although possessing its architectural and functional qualities, the house struggles for favour of public and visitors. Its modern and timeless character does not seem to match up with the image of a romantic spa.

 The Krym underwent an extensive reconstruction in 2015. Its noble facade of stone cladding was replaced with plaster. This unaccountable decision has fatally eliminated the expressive qualities of the building, which used to belong to 100 best architecture realizations of the 20th century in Slovakia, according to the DOCOMOMO list.