Jan Kaplicky dies, age 71

Niki May Young
Thursday 15 Jan 2009

Future systems Director suffers heart attack hours after daughter born

Future Systems Director Jan Kaplicky has died, age 71, in Prague on Wednesday evening. Only hours after his wife gave birth to his daughter, Johanka, Kaplicky suffered a heart attack in the street and died, police and paramedics unable to revive him on the scene.

The Czech architect and his first wife and business partner Amanda Levete, are commonly regarded as the parents of ‘blob architecture’, creating free-form structures such as Birmingham’s iconic studded Selfridges building and the media center at Lords Cricket ground.

Most recently Kaplicky caused controversy with his design for the National Library in Prague which won the design competition in 2007 but has subsequently been contested by the Czech culture minister. Late last year Kaplicky refused an award for his design from the Ministry of Culture due to the contention.

Kaplicky settled in the UK in 1968 working with renowned architects Lord Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano before founding the Future Systems studio with Levete in London. Following their marital split after 15 years of marriage the pair remained business partners until October last year, signaling what many regarded as the end of an era. Kaplicky married his second wife Eliška Kaplický Fuchsová in 2007.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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