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All in the game

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Future Systems' Jan Kaplicky was in good form at last week's press launch of the practice's universally hailed Lord's Media Centre. He explained to journalists gathered in the building/product that it represented a 'little bit of a pay-back' to the English way of life for being allowed to stay in the country 30 years ago. He said that ever since he had been 'on the run from Russian tanks' he had had a dream to make a contribution as a Czech to life in this country after not being thrown back into the Channel. Citing the only other examples of Czech expertise to make an impact over here as pointed shoes in Queen Anne's time, the word 'robot' and the bren-gun, (what about beer?) he said the centre was a 'building for people, a technical achievement and a human achievement'. It certainly was not a gherkin, as The Times had put it, since gherkins were not blue inside and he hit back at all the parties who said it would never be built, including a distinguished structural engineer and construction firm. For its part the mcc said it always intended to have outstanding architecture as well as outstanding cricket - now it had 'one of the finest and most exciting new buildings in the capital'. Bowled over.

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