By philosophy and nature, Jan Kaplický was mainly an architect, but his typical creative touch can be seen in many other artistic disciplines. He was often inspired by natural forms – cobwebs, butterfly wings, or fish scales. Kaplický received many awards, including the most prestigious British award for architecture, the Stirling Prize, for the Media Centre at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. Kaplický’s most recent designs include the Congress and Concert Hall Centre in České Budějovice and the National Library in Prague. When Jan Kaplický gave a lecture in Prague several years ago, he enumerated ten main aspects of his work. They are as follows: freedom, creativity, people, beauty, elegance, plasticity, sensuality, colour, innovation, and inspiration. He attained fame with two iconic buildings, namely the Media Centre at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London and the Selfridges department store in Birmingham. ‘Jan Kaplický: His Own Way’ is intended to present the personality and work of the artist in the broadest context, from architectural models to jewellery and fashion.
The Czech architect Jan Kaplický (1937 Prague – 2009 Prague) studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague. In 1968 he emigrated to Great Britain. In London he cooperated with distinguished architects such as Denys Lasdun, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, and Renzo Piano. In 1979 he founded the architecture studio Future Systems, and gradually became recognised as one of the leading architects. As a representative of high-tech architecture, he designed and completed numerous projects and many of them were awarded prestigious prizes.
His major projects include: West India Quay Bridge, London (1996); Media Centre, Lord’s Cricket Ground, London (1999); Selfridges Building, Birmingham (2003); Naples Subway Station, Naples (2003 – 2008); Maserati Museum, Modena (2004 – 2012); National Library of the Czech Republic, Prague (2007, project cancelled in 2008); Congress and Concert Hall Centre, České Budějovice (2008). Many of his projects won prestigious prizes: RIBA Award (1998, 2004); RIBA Stirling Prize (1999); World Architecture Award (2001) and others.