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Ypsilon Studio

alias Olympic Theatre
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1923 | project
Prominent representative of Czech Functionalism Jaromír Krejcar designed the building in several variants around 1923, a cinema was built in basement.
(detail)1926 | construction
When the construction was about to finish in 1926, the owner charged architect Paul Sydow with adjustments of cinema hall.
(detail)25.12.1927 | Opening

(detail)1996 | reconstruction

People

Jaromír Krejcar |architect
Jan Fišer |architect

History

The direct conflict between traditionalist and modern conception of a cinema occurred in the Olympic Palace, one of the most famous buildings of Functionalism in Prague. The building was being designed by leading representative of this style Jaromír Krejcar from 1923 in several variants, in which the theatre in the basement was given a peculiar form of reformed space with an amphitheatrical auditorium of a wedge-shaped plan. We're not quite sure whether already Krejcar did not disrupt the original concept of homogeneous space by adding balconies during the gradualdesigning.  But the fact is that when construction  was drawing to an end in 1926, the owner commissioned architect Paul Sydow to modify the cinema hall. Although retaining the basic shape of the parterre of a wedge plan, he surrounded it by a meaningless system of boxes and seats in the places with extremely problematic views. Pure forms of Krejcar’s design were covered with baroquizing lines of parapets of boxes and balconies that resemble the shape of a violin. In this form, which was sharply attacked (along with condemnation as Krejcar’s copyright was violated) by arch. E. Jan Koula in the journal Construction, the cinema was opened on December 25 of 1927. Today, it serves to the Ypsilon Theatre,  for which it was reconstructed between 1994-1996.

 

In: Hilmera, Jiří: Stavební historie pražských kinosálů; in: Iluminace 10/1998, N. 2, p. 123.

 

Tags: Functionalism, Interwar period, theatre hall

 

Author: Jiří Hilmera

Translator: Jan Purkert

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