14-1 Jan Kaplicky tenth anniversary of his death

Jan Kaplicky

Jan Kaplicky, (born April 18, 1937 – died Janary 14, 2009), was a Neofuturistic Czech architect, created futuristic organically inspired designs that challenged some of the most basic ideas of modern architecture.

Kaplicky trained at Prague’s College of Applied Art and Architecture, but after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia (1968), he settled in London, where he worked with Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano on the design for the multicoloured Pompidou Centre in Paris. In 1979 Kaplický set up his own architectural think tank called Future Systems with David Nixon.

In 1994 he built one of his first projects in London, In 1994 he built one of his first projects in London, an wedge shaped house with a front wall of glass bricks and a sloping glass back, designed together with Amanda Levete of Future Systems for Deborah Hauer and Jeremy King.

In 1996 completed the design for West India Quay Bridge in Docklands , Londra. Future Systems’ lime-green steel footbridge streaks across the dock of West India Quay, floating on its cylindrical pontoons like an insect on a pond. It was built as a shortcut between Canary Wharf and West India Quay. The bridge is 94m long overall, with a clear span of 80m

His best-known designs were for the spaceshiplike semimonocoque Media Centre at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, which in 1999 won the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize, was commissioned in time for the 1999 Cricket World Cup and was the first all aluminium, semi-monocoque building in the world.

The aluminum-covered, virtually windowless Selfridges department store in Birmingham, completed in 2003 and which won a RIBA Award in 2004, is a truly remarkable example of a notion called blobitecture. Its form escapes the usual structure of edges and walls into a curved and rounded sculpture, one could even call organic. The facade comprises 15,000 anodised aluminium discs mounted on a blue background.

In 2007 Kaplicky’s undulating “blob” design won the international competition to build a Czech National Library, but the Czech government refused to fund the project, which would have been Kaplicky’s first building in his native country.

In 2004 the project by Future Systems won the international competition for the design of the museum. The museum stands in the place where Enzo Ferrari was born and the project was completed in 2012 after the death of its designer. The shape and technologies used allow the new volume of the museum, with its sculptural yellow roof that matches the background color of the team logo, to become one with the existing structure.

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