The Chicago Palace was built in the years 1927 - 1928 and at that time, together with the Bata Shoe Palace, it was one of the most modern buildings in Prague. Its construction was instigated by Jindřich Kolowrat-Krakowsky and its architect and builder was Jaroslav Polivka, to whom he sold his luxury mansion in Týnec in exchange. Currently it is the property of the Kolowratovy domy joint stock company.
Constructivism is a style that emphasises the beauty of mass and the utility of construction. It spread mostly in Russia after the October Revolution in 1917. It is at the Chicago Palace building that we can observe the typical elements of constructivist architecture, such as the reinforced concrete structures, the strip windows and the flat roof.
This trend, which is referred to as functionalism and which is highly intertwined with constructivism, started to develop in the 1920’s. The houses were built in accordance with their functions and it was their effectiveness that was especially highly regarded. Simple shapes held their own against luxurious ornamentation. In the 1920’s and 1930’s functionalism became the most popular architectural style in Czechoslovakia. Typical functionalist buildings include the Trade Fair Palace, the Brno Exhibition Centre and the famous Villa Tugendhat, also located in Brno.
Currently the Palace offers luxurious spaces for offices, while the ground floor area is dedicated to stores. On the second floor until the end of April you can visit a unique exhibition that is entitled “Na film! 2: V pohybu”.
The “Na film!” exhibition constitutes part of a long-term NaFilM student project, the goal of which is to construct a Museum of Czech Film in Prague. The current interactive exhibition entitled “Na film! 2: V pohybu” enables visitors to experience projection that is implemented using a luxurious replica of a contemporaneous magic lantern and, thanks to virtual reality, to find themselves in Saint Louis in 1904 or, on the other hand, to learn about the basic principles of film animation.
The exhibition will be gradually expanded until the initiators reach their goal and find permanent premises for their film museum. The establishing of the film museum is supported by such excellent Czech filmmakers as Jiří Menzel, Jan Svěrák, Olga Sommerová, Helena Třeštíková and Jan Hřebejk.