Architect Jan Kaplicky Passes Away


While we were hoping that we would make it through the week without offering up anything to make you feel more downtrodden, sadly it was not to be. The news came down the wire late yesterday that architect Jan Kaplicky has just passed away. While he might not have the same general public stature as a Gehry or Hadid, he was certainly at their level and greatly beloved within the community. Two of his most famous pieces he worked on you’ll likely know: the Centre Pompidou, which he helped Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano put together and the Lord’s Cricket Ground Media Stand, which helped put him on the map and keep him there for good. Said Rogers upon learning of his longtime friend’s passing, “Jan was a brilliant and astonishing architect, one of a small handful of true visionaries.” Unfortunately, like many creative people who go before their time, he never saw his current big project finally realized:

Since 2007 Kaplicky had been fighting to get his competition-winning design for the Czech National Library in Prague realised. Another hugely controversial structure, the building resembled a jellyfish in gold and purple. Politicians used the outrage created by the design for their own purposes and it became a political football. The architect was deeply hurt by the process.

Here’s to best wishes for his family and friends and that Prague pulls some strings and sees the project carried through.

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