Design Museum Jan Kaplicky Exhibition, Building, Architecture, London, Images

Design Museum Jan Kaplicky Exhibition

London Architecture Show, England, UK

3 Aug 2009

Future Systems Exhibition

The exhibition “Remembering Jan Kaplický – Architect of the Future” at the Design Museum in London

Remembering Jan kaplický – architect of the future

Jan kaplický Portrait
Jan kaplicky architect
photograph froom Design Museum

Curator : Deyan Sudjic

Dates : 1 Jul – 1 Nov 2009

Selfridges Birmingham
Selfridges Birmingham
photograph : Norbert Schoerner

Commes des Garcons, Toyko
Commes des Garcons Toyko
photograph : Masa Yuki Hayashi

Concert Hall, Ceské Budejovice
Concert Hall Ceské Budejovice
image : Future Systems

Deyan Sudjic comments: “Jan was a remarkable architect, and a brilliant artist. We can only now begin to understand his impact on the shape of the contemporary world”.

Design Museum, Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD, 10.00-17.45 daily, T: 0870 833 9955,

Information from Design Museum in 2009

Design Museum Building

Future Systems

Design Museum architects : Conran & Partners

Design Museum, Shad Thames, Bermondsey, southeast London
Date built: 1989
Design: Conran Roche – now Conran & Partners

Location: Shad Thames, London, England, UK

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Jan Kaplický (18 April 1937 – 14 January 2009) was a world-renowned Czech architect who spent a significant part of his life in the United Kingdom. He was the leading architect behind the innovative design office, Future Systems. He was best known for the futuristic Selfridges Building in Birmingham, England, and the Media Centre at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. In February 2007, he won the international architectural competition for the new building of the National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague, a project that was subsequently cancelled.

Jan Kaplický, the only child of a sculptor and a botanical illustrator, was born in 1937 in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and grew up in a suburb of Prague called Ořechovka.

Between 1956 and 1962 he studied at the College of Applied Arts and Architecture and Design (VSUP) in Prague, receiving a Diploma in Architecture. He worked in private practice in Czechoslovakia between 1964 and 1968. In the wake of the Prague Spring, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, he escaped to London in September 1968 with fellow architect Jaroslav Vokoun carrying only US$100 and a few pairs of socks. In 1969 in London he met again Eva Jiřičná whom he had known in Prague, who then became his girlfriend.

In England, Kaplický first worked for Denys Lasdun and Partners (1969–71), then obtained employment with the office of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers (1971–73), where he worked on DRU extension at Aybrook Street, London and later helping to develop the design for the Centre Georges Pompidou (constructed 1971–77) in Paris. When the practice relocated to Paris, he was unable to follow as at that time he still did not have a British passport. After working with Jiřičná, and a short spell at Spencer and Webster, Associates (1974–75), he joined Foster Associates, now Foster + Partners (1979–83).

At the same time, in 1979 Kaplický set up his own architectural think tank called Future Systems with David Nixon, and began to develop an architectural style that combined organic forms with high tech futurism. Among the drawings he made were structures orbiting the earth built by robots, weekend houses resembling survival capsules that could be transported by helicopter, and home interiors that could be manipulated. In the 1980s his design for the Grand Buildings in Trafalgar Square, London, was a free-form monocoque structure pierced by portholes; it lost to a more conventional reconstruction of an Edwardian facade.

Amanda Levete joined Future Systems as a partner in 1989. Kaplický and Levete married in 1991 and were a couple for 15 years; they had a son named Josef. Although they divorced in 2006, they continued their professional association in the architectural practice, saying that the separation strengthened their working relationship.
Source: wikipedia

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Tate Modern
image © Adrian Welch
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Saatchi Gallery

Royal Festival Hall Building

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Comments / photos for the Jan Kaplicky Exhibition at the Design Museum page welcome