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Kaplicky goes to Czech senate to defend controversial Prague library

Jan Kaplicky, whose Future Systems studio is designing the National Library in Prague, has visited the Czech senate to defend the scheme, which has come under attack from no less a figure than Czech president Václav Klaus.

The British practice is already embroiled in a row with the Czech Chamber of Architects, which has claimed that the competition to design the library was flawed ( Future Systems' winning Prague National Library 'broke competition rules' ).

Now Kaplicky - who was born in Prague - has faced down objections raised from Klaus, who claimed that designs for the purple blob-like building were 'very obstinate, almost arrogant'.

Klaus also bemoaned the scheme's apparent lack of natural light.

However, according to reports in the Prague newswire CTK, during a presentation of the project to the Czech senate, Kaplicky retorted: 'Daylight is not exactly what books, especially old ones, need.'

Making references to Future Systems' work on the Maserati Museum in Modena, Italy - the shape of which will resemble a car bonnet - and its Selfridges store in Birmingham, Kaplicky said: 'We won the competition and the Italian president did not protest.

'Even the Queen is looking at my building and does not protest,' he added.

by Max Thompson

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