Slezákovy závody: 111 years of metal furniture production in Bystřice pod Hostýnem

After 111 years of operation, the traditional brand of Slezákovy závody (Slezák's Factory) comes with a unique exhibition of bent metal furniture. The story of this traditional Czech brand began in 1908 in Bystřice pod Hostýnem and continues to this day. The exhibition particularly recalls the important development period of the 1930’s, followed by a selection of exceptional designs from the post-war decades. The collection is composed of modern products based on historical production patterns, which highlight how timeless the original designs are. The exhibition is held on 20 March – 26 May 2019 on the technical floor of Villa Tugendhat in Brno.

The exhibition follows up on the exhibition project marking the 110th anniversary of the foundation of the Slezákovy závody, prepared by the National Centre of Furniture Design for the Municipal Museum of Bystřice pod Hostýnem. The exhibition will be subsequently shown at the chateau of Bystřice pod Hostýnem this year, from 1 June to 31 October 2019.

The exhibition “Slezákovy závody: 111 Years” represents the functionalist aesthetics of the bent tubes, which in our opinion belongs to the repertoire of timeless design. Moreover, after many years of intensive work and technological development, we know that quality craft and material processing is the foundation of good design," says Ing. Zdeněk Šimčík, Executive Director of Kovonax. "Collaboration with architect Rudolf Netík on the development of some of our products has brought a completely new design that we are further developing," adds Šimčík. 

The original Slezák metal furniture factory was founded in 1908, later renamed Kovona, and since 1992 Kovonax, has been using both traditional and modern technologies. The company, which is wholly owned by Czech entities, has a production plant in Bystřice pod Hostýnem in the Zlín Region and is a truly Czech producer, from raw material processing to the final product. The company is proud of its speciality in being able to combine the original Slezák designs with modern technology.

Kovonax is a manufacturer of metal furniture, notably chairs, swivel seats, armchairs, dining and conference tables, coathangers and other furniture. In Prague, the Slezákovy závody range of products is presented in the modernist AXA Hotel, Na Poříčí 40.

Kovonax – company profile  

Kovonax, based in Bystřice pod Hostýnem, is an important Czech manufacturer of metal furniture: chairs, swivel chairs, armchairs, dining and coffee tables, coathangers and hospital beds, school furniture. It belongs to the oldest companies in its field in this country. At the beginning of the 20th century, the company bore the name of its founder, Robert Slezák. This trained locksmith from Bystřice pod Hostýnem founded a small locksmith's workshop for common locksmith products, furniture and building metalware in his hometown in 1908. The workshop grew rapidly and in the 1930’s, with hundreds of models of seating and table furniture for schools, hospitals, sanatoriums, gardens, public and residential interiors, made of chrome-plated steel tubes, nickel and brass, Slezák belonged to leading metal furniture manufacturers in the Czech Republic. The Kovonax company, which was established by privatization in 1992, successfully continues in the tradition of more than one hundred-years of the Slezákovy závody brand.


Exhibition curator: Dagmar Koudelková

Exhibition architect: Rudolf Netík

Production and PR: Pavla Boháčová, Petra Nemravová, Idealab

Villa Tugendhat curator: Lucie Valdhansová 


Slezákovy závody: 111 years of metal furniture production in Bystřice pod Hostýnem
20 March – 26 May 2019 
Villa Tugendhat, Černopolní 45, Brno. 
The exhibition on the technical floor is open during the opening hours, i.e. Tue – Sun 10 – 18 without prior reservation. 
Admission: 50 CZK.  


Presskit download here.


The project was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.