February 2023

Jan Kaplicky, (c)Future Systems, Jan Kaplický, Kaplicky Centre Foundation, Prague

Jan Kaplický (1937-2009) grew up in a family of intellectuals and artists in 1950s Prague. He studied in the Academy of Applied Arts there before embarking on his first minor architecture projects. In 1979, together with another architect, David Nixon, Kaplický established his own architecture firm, Future Systems. Many of their designs were reminiscent of constructions relating to space technology and were located in uninhabited spots of the world. Future Systems attracted the attention of both the trade press and Peter Cook (Archigram), resulting in exhibitions in London, Paris, Chicago and Frankfurt/Main in the 1980s.

(c)Future Systems, Jan Kaplický, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 1989, Paris, Kaplicky Centre Foundation, Prague

(c)Future Systems, Jan Kaplický, Frankfurth kinderdarten 1991, Kaplicky Centre Foundation, Prague

Future Systems underwent a change of direction when Amanda Levete came on board in 1989. David Nixon had left the company two years earlier. Now, their new motto became more buildings and less theory. The Selfridges department store is probably Future Systems’ best-known building and it has been a landmark of downtown Birmingham, England since 2003. One of Kaplický’s last projects was a new building for the Czech National Library. After he had won the competition his amorphous blob design became the object of a fierce debate in Czech society.

(c)Future Systems, Jan Kaplický, House in Druidston, Wales, 1998, Kaplicky Centre Foundation, Prague

(c)Future Systems, Jan Kaplický, Lord's Media Centre, UK, 1999, Kaplicky Centre Foundation, Prague

(c)Future Systems, Jan Kaplický,  Selfridges Building, UK 2003, Kaplicky Centre Foundation, Prague

 (c)Future Systems, Jan Kaplický,  Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Italy, Kaplicky Centre Foundation, Prague

Kaplicky Creative Centre arises in Villa Čerych, Prague. The purpose of the foundation is the support, development and promotion of architecture and modern art, especially in connection with the legacy of the Kaplický family. The goal of the Kaplicky foundation is to preserve the legacy of Jan Kaplický and his vision for future generations, as well as the Future Systems brand. 

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