Architect Kaplicky dies aged 71

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Architect Kaplicky dies aged 71

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:56 pm

The architect behind some of Britain’s foremost modern buildings has died in his native Prague, it was announced today.

Jan Kaplicky ,71, designed the award-winning media centre at Lord’s cricket ground in London.

He and his design consultancy Future Systems were also responsible for the futuristic Selfridges building in Birmingham, the Stonehenge tourist centre and a floating bridge linking West India Quay and Canary Wharf in London.

Kaplicky died yesterday, just hours after his wife Eliska gave birth to a daughter Johanka.

Kaplicky collapsed on a Prague street said a spokeswoman for Prague’s rescue service. She said rescue workers attempted to resuscitate him for 30 minutes.

Born in Prague April 18, 1937, Kaplicky studied at the College of Applied Arts and Architecture in the Czech capital before leaving his homeland for London in 1968 after the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia crushed the liberal reforms of Alexander Dubcek and ended an era known as the “Prague Spring.”

“I realised: the time has come, you can’t stay here because there’s absolutely no hope in your lifetime,” Kaplicky said in 2004.

Kaplicky’s design of the new media centre at Lord’s was honoured with Britain’s most prestigious architecture award, the Stirling Prize, in 1999.

In 2007, Future Systems won an international design competition for the new building of the Czech National Library in Prague, which would have been Kaplicky’s first building in his homeland.

But the project, a pyramidal building that looks like an artificial hill with a huge eye-like window near the top overseeing the capital’s landmarks, including the Prague Castle, drew controversy.

Czech leaders, including President Vaclav Klaus and Prague Mayor Pavel Bem opposed it. Currently, it is not clear if the project will ever materialise.

Kaplicky is survived by his wife, baby daughter and a son, Josef.
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Paul Clerkin
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Re: Architect Kaplicky dies aged 71

Postby Blisterman » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:28 am

Sad to hear. I wrote an essay about him in University. Very dedicated man. It took him over 20 years, since starting Future Systems to ever get anything built. Most people would have given up by then.
Fair play for having a wife 40 years younger than you too.
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Re: Architect Kaplicky dies aged 71

Postby PTB » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:47 pm

Blisterman wrote:Fair play for having a wife 40 years younger than you too.

Hear hear. Hope I'm still getting it at 70

I was actually quite surprised to find he had died. I always thought that he was in his 40's or 50's, such were his youthful designs.
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