July 2nd, 2010
We managed to get tickets to the international premiere of a documentary dedicated to the late Czech architect Jan Kaplický, co-founder of London based practice Future Systems. It tells the story of Kaplický’s last grand design, the project for the National Library in Prague called “the Eye over Prague”.
After winning the international competition chaired by Zaha Hadid, the design of the new Library provoked a lot of controversy for its very unique and contemporary design, with people arguing it clashes with the traditional, old landscape of Prague. The film shows the struggle Jan Kaplicky went through in trying to get the seal of approval from the Czech government to build the new Library, which unfortunately has still not happened.
Following the film a debate was chaired by Deyan Sudjic, with architect and designer Eva Jiricná, and British artist Brian Clarke, discussing Jan Kaplicky’s life and work, which was a fitting end to the night. The event was part of the London Festival of Architecture.