A Farewell to Jan Kaplicky

There are groups who claim Kaplicky was knackered. People spend the day after his death by medially challenging his opposers. Truly, hard to say whether the dispute around the Blob library shortened his life, or if he died from happiness that his daughter Johanka was born to be a strong and healthy kid. At least he died very, very happy. I feel sorry for his wife, who is going to celebrate her daughter’s birthday with bitterness from now on.

Jan Kaplicky designed buildings in Czechoslovakia already, but, as a lot of Czech intelligence, he had to escape the communists for emmigracy in Britain. He gave Britain some remarkable buildings, which got ahead the whole century by its 21st century design, use of materials and energy. He didn’t want to return to Prague, because he knew Czechs are not ready to accept his ways. Unfortunately he was right.

After he was persuaded by his friend to try for the new national library and winning the international contest, Kaplicky was sucked into the Czech self-censoring surroundings, which he was prepared to fight. But he didn’t expect he is to became another Klaus’s stepping stone to fame, and his winning design was about to be crashed by Klaus’s influence.

Was it the frustration from us Czechs that killed him? I don’t think so. He was an artist who always aroused controversy, and he was ready to fight until the end (viz his Paroubek connection). The Czech Republic bought him much more – love to Eliska, his wife, he was in love like a novel character. His heart didn’t make it through such happiness, and there is a lot of people who is going to miss him. Lets remember him for what he has done for Czech reputation and architecture in the world.

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