Functionalism as an architectural movement can be traced back to the 1920s. Its inspiration came from the social changes that were taking place at the time. The main aim was to construct buildings that were designed for their intended use, while at the same time meeting the needs of industry. This style of architecture became widespread throughout Europe, including Czechoslovakia, in the 1920s and 1930s. Czechoslovak interwar architecture is considered to be one of the best architectural styles in Europe during this period. The principle of functionalism can be summed up in Louis Sullivan's famous 1893 definition that "form follows function". The key feature of Functionalism is the use of purpose-built structures with simple forms and the incorporation of new materials such as firebrick, iron and concrete.
Adolf Loos was an important representative of functionalism in the Czech lands. He believed that architecture should not be considered an art form, but should still adhere to aesthetic ideals. Le Corbusier, a famous Swiss architect and town planner, had a similar view. He believed that Functionalism was a new style that broke away from the ostentatiousness of the early 20th century. He emphasised geometric purity of form and developed the five basic principles of modern architecture, including columns, roof gardens, open plan, strip windows and free frontages.