Under Threat: Machnác Curative House
by Jaromír Krejcar, Trencianske Teplice, Slovakia, 1932
DATE: 28/5/2018
Docomomo International is now appealing to your awareness regarding the future Machnác Curative House might expect.

Stop the Deliberate Neglect of the Machnác Sanatorium!
In 1997, the health spa of Trencianske Teplice was privatized. One of the properties transmitted to private ownership was the Machnác Sanatorium building. Five years later, the owner ended the structure’s use as a medical sanatorium with plans to reconstruct it as a luxury hotel. Nonetheless, the investor wished to retain the same room capacity, which – for a building originally intended as a medical facility for the wider public at a modest standard – would have required not only significant interior alterations, but also massive additions to the original structure. These changes would have irreversibly damaged this original architectural work widely regarded abroad. The regional heritage protection office in Trencín, along with professional institutions in Slovakia and elsewhere organized several meetings with the investor, where they strove to find a compromise and used many international examples to convince the owners of different possible solutions.
The owners, though, did not change their concept in the slightest. Since 2011, after the failure of the final attempts to complete the plan to transform this icon of mass recreation into an exclusive hotel, they chose a new approach which cannot be described otherwise than as “conscious and deliberate neglect”.
The owners left this protected landmark empty without any guards or caretakers.
Deliberately, the structure was left open to vandals and many valuable items and materials disappeared from the interiors (metal railings radiators, electrical wiring and water pipes, various other fittings) to such an extent that it is hard to believe the owners were unaware of the thefts. This “administration” by the owners led to opposition from the heritage office, which demanded rectification.
More recently, the owners have regularly transferred or shifted ownership of the building to other firms to avoid the requirement of taking care of it, or paying fines for its neglect.
As of 2015, when Machnác suffered the worst damage, its owners have on paper changed every single year. However, examination of the ownership structure of these firms makes it clear that the parties involved are the very same individuals who had a hand in the original privatization of the health spa in Trencianske Teplice.
All of these circumstances support the suspicion of the architectural and heritage communities that the owners are deliberately misusing their ownership rights with the aim of bringing this registered heritage building to definitive physical destruction. Evidently, the owners are hoping solely to extract the maximum financial profit from their property, and care nothing for the preservation of architectural, historic or cultural heritage, the protection of which is anchored, along with the protection of natural heritage, in the legal framework of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic.

We, as professionals working in the field of research, protection and presentation of cultural heritage, are convinced that the owner in the 16-year- long disregard and contempt for the cultural values of the MachnácSanatorium has shown a lack of interest in protecting and improving this nationally registered heritage site. Since the Heritage Institute of Slovakia has so far been unable to arrange for rectification, we call upon the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic to ensure the use of the possibilities granted by Article 20, paragraph 4 of the Slovak Constitution, and in the public interest of saving a national heritage site to assume ownership of the Machnác Sanatorium per the Act on Eminent Domain for Land and Buildings and the Necessary Limitation of Ownership Rights Thereto, no. 282/2015 Coll.” 
By the Department of Architecture Institute of Construction and Architecture, Slovak Academy of Sciences

In the form of manifest, banners were placed along the façade as a message to the oligarchs who own the sanatorium. 

Docomomo International would like to express its full support to the on-going efforts to protect the Machnác Curative House from disregard and eventual demolition, certain that another plan should contemplate its restoration.

More details: Register website
For current pictures of the building condition: Pdf below
Petition: website