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London-based Czech architect Jan Kaplicky dies

London-based Czech architect Jan Kaplicky dies

British-based Czech architect Jan Kaplicky, who designed the award-winning media center at Lord's cricket ground in London, has died, an official said Thursday. He was 71.
Czech media reported that Kaplicky died just hours after his wife Eliska gave birth to their daughter Johanka.
Kaplicky collapsed on a Prague street on Wednesday evening, said Jirina Ernestova, a spokeswoman for Prague's rescue service. She said rescue workers unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate Kaplicky for 30 minutes. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Born in Prague April 18, 1937, Kaplicky studied at the College of Applied Arts & Architecture in the Czech capital before leaving his homeland for London in 1968 after the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia crushed the liberal reforms of Alexander Dubcek and ended an era known as the "Prague Spring."
"I realized: the time has come, you can't stay here because there's absolutely no hope in your lifetime," Kaplicky told Czech radio in a 2004 interview.
Kaplicky's design of a new media center at the Lord's cricket ground in London was honored with Britain's most prestigious architecture award, the Stirling Prize, in 1999.
He and his design consultancy Future Systems also designed the futuristic Selfridges building in Birmingham, the Stonehenge tourist center and a floating bridge linking West India Quay and Canary Wharf in London.
In 2007, Future Systems won an international design competition for the new building of the Czech National Library in Prague, which would have been Kaplicky's first building in his homeland.
But the project, a pyramidal building that looks like an artificial hill with a huge eye-like window near the top overseeing the capital's landmarks, including the Prague Castle, drew controversy. A number of top Czech leaders, including President Vaclav Klaus and Prague Mayor Pavel Bem opposed it. Currently, it is not clear if the project will ever materialize.
Kaplicky is survived by his wife, baby daughter and a son, Josef.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately known.


Updated : 2021-08-03 05:53 GMT+08:00