Design Museum, London. 1 July – 1 November 2009
Jan Kaplický, who died earlier this year aged 71, was the Czech architect responsible for some of the most remarkable buildings that Britain has ever seen. This exhibition curated by Deyan Sudjic will celebrate Kaplický’s career, his influences and unique futuristic vision for building design.
Kaplický was the driving force behind a new school of architecture and his buildings continue to stimulate, amaze and inspire. Kaplický pushed against the status quo, offering a unique personal vision. This exhibition celebrates the work of a gifted architect and designer.
Arriving in London as a refugee after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Kaplický worked with Denys Lasdun, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster. He established Future Systems with David Nixon in 1979 which worked initially as a kind of think tank. Astonishing drawings and plans for robot built structures spinning in earth’s orbit, weekend houses in the guise of space age survival pods and malleable interiors were just some of Kaplický’s visions.
Amanda Levete joined Future Systems in 1989, and together Kaplický and Levete began to build some of the practice’s best known work. In 1994 Future Systems designed the Stirling Prize winning media centre at Lord’s Cricket Ground and in 1999 designed the Selfridges department store in Birmingham, a sensuous iceberg like building that would win the 2004 RIBA Award for Architecture.
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”.