If somebody would’ve asked who is the person I truly admire, my answer would be my dad. But in a term of architecture it would be Jan Kaplický.
Let me just shortly tell you something about him….
Jan Kaplický was the only child of the sculptor and botanical illustrator….., He was born on the 18th of April 1937 in Prague (Czechoslovakia). Between 1956 and 1962 he studied at the College of Applied Arts and Architecture in Prague. In the wake of the Prague Spring and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, in September 1968 he emigrated to London. There he met again Eva Jiřičná (she was also well recognised Czech architect) and they became lovers.
First he worked in an architectural firm the Denys Lasdun and Partners. After that he was employed by the Renzo Piana and Richard Rogerse company. In 1979 he started his own firm, the Future systems. He found the company with his friend David Nixon. The main ten points of his creation were: freedom, creativity, people, beauty, style, plasticity, colour, sensuality, innovation, inspiration. He met there his first wife who also became the third partner of their company Amanda Levete. They had one son together.
With Amanda he presented high-tech architecture. They experimented with organic architecture that was inspired by natural forms and shapes. In 80´s Jan and Amanda started to work as the first British company for the NASA. Here he learned how to work with modern materials and technology. Kaplický recently got well known to the public. Especially for the construction of department store Selfridges in Birmingham, for which he won many major awards and reached wide recognition. Kaplický also taught at universities in the UK, France and Germany.
In the Czech Republic he came into wider awareness of the public, for his proposal of a new National Library building on Letna Plain in Prague, journalist dubbed octopus. His project was chosen as the best project. But the project was never built. He died 14th January 2009 on the same day as his second wife Eliška gave birth of their daughter.
My opinion on Kaplický
I Think that he was very creative and he was strong individual. He must must have been. It had to be hard to become successful abroad. Especially in the 80´s. He created a company called “Future systems”, of course not alone but with his first wife Amanda and his friend David, but they did succeded. He also worked with Norman Foster, a man whom I definitely admire.
I like the way Kaplicky used materials and how he thought about things. He thought about nature, shapes but his approach was controversial. But the reason why I really like him are his buildings. Especially the department store Selfridges in Birmingham and the National Library in Prague. On the Selfridges building I like the surface. It was composed of many silver/steel circles that in complex look like plastic.
About the National Library in Prague I like the shape. Some people think of it as octopus and others as a flower. Many people hate Kaplický for his proposal of the National Library, they thing that this shape is not the perfect one to Letna Plain. For me is his proposal absolutely awesome. I love the shape that remind me a flower in spring, colours, materials and how its everything put together.
I also think that Prague will never know what it has lost unless it’s built. Prague would had been unique for this Library.
One of his famous quotes which I really like is…
“Where is it written that buildings have to be boxes”?”People aren’t boxes.”….
Design pieces which I would like to get closer to one day..
Maarten Baas_Smoke Chair
What I absolutely love about this chair is the simple idea behind it…Why to get rid of old furniture when you can give it a second chance…second life…I can imagine this absolutely fabulous piece of art placed somewhere in a white design space where would this chair make the cherry on the cake…
About this fabulous bath tub its not even necessary to talk about… A bath tub which makes its own really but really thick foam…
Patterned by Nature
There is always a way how to make your project special without making it too complicated… Here I am repeating my self again with saying that quantity doesn’t always means quality. What I really like about this piece is the atmosphere which I can imagine this 3600 transparent LCD panels providing to the whole space and making people come back again and again.. What is also really interesting is the fact that those 3600 LCD panels together making less power than a single computer… Get inspired…
600 years of Prague Astronomical Clock
This is an absolutely amazing piece of work that makes my self proud as a czech citizen.. This occasion happened in the celebrations of 600years anniversary of Prague Astronomical clock.