The Friends held a lecture 'Memories of Jan Kaplický' given by Ivan Margolius, architect and friend, in the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, London.

Kaplicky lIMargolius rJanMladovsky cjSommerMr Ivan Margolius presented an intimate view of the life and achievements of his close friend and professional colleague the Czech architect Jan Kaplický. Their friendship grew from shared personal experiences, having both been born in the Czech Republic and spending the most productive years of their lives in exile in Britain.

Photo: left, Ivan Margolius, our speaker, with the artist Jan Mladovský, both friends of Jan Kaplický. Photo J. Sommerlad

Jan Kaplický was a thoroughly modern architect, who had developed originally style of organically flowing architectural shapes, vividly represented in his designs of the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham and the Media Centre in the Lords Cricket Ground in London. He had to battle for his ideas with conventional taste, often against political opponents such as President Mitterrand in Paris and President Klaus in Prague.

KaplickyImageSmallHis life was prematurely terminated in a street of his beloved Prague, where he died of the day his daughter was born on 14 January 2009. Jan Kaplický was highly respected by fellow architects, who had also contributed to the presentation by their personal reminiscences for our lecture on him. The occasion became a moving eulogy from the major living architects including Rogers, Jiřičná and Foster, and left a lasting impression on us about Jan’s great talent and lasting legacy of his work. He created a modern heritage for Czech architecture and hoped that his original designs be realised also in his home city of Prague.

Wines were sponsored by www.wine-gems.co.uk and the audience greatly appreciated special Moravian wines from the 'Château Winery Bzenec', including their Alfons Mucha collection, and 'Kolby' vineyard's Cuvée Exclusive 2012.

Photo of Jan Kaplický copyright Alžběta Jungrová