ˮIf square [the curia], its height is to be once and a half its width; but if oblong, the length and width must added together, and one half of their sum assigned for the height up to the lacunaria. The walls, moreover, at half their height, are to have cornices run round them of wood or plaster. For if such be not provided, the voices of the disputants meeting with no check in their ascent, will not be intelligible to the audience. But when the walls are encircled round with cornices, the voice, being thereby impeded, will reach the ear before its ascent and dissipation in the air.ˮ
Vitruvius, On Architecture V 2
There is no doubt that the ancient Greek and Roman architects were real masters in designing acoustically perfect buildings. By a happy coincidence, the layout of our concert hall is very close to the calculations of Vitruvius, thus providing the listener with an exceptional experience in a pleasant interior. Of course, the hall is not a curia. It is an atrium in the original Roman conception with several modern elements.
In ancient Rome an atrium was a windowless central court or a hall surrounded with rooms, each with their own direct entry. The Romans distinguished five types of atriums, one of them being an atrium testudinatum, meaning an atrium completely covered by a roof. The floor plan of the first floor of the building where The Zlin School of Arts is housed is absolutely identical with the floor plan of a wealthy ancient Roman house. This has been so only since the reconstruction of the school in 1993 when new rooms were added in the eastern part of the large hallway, enclosing the space from all sides and creating the central hall style.
The building, a part of the city conservation area, was designed in the functionalist style by architect Vladimír Karfík in 1937.