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Future Systems wins its first-ever Czech scheme - image

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Future Systems has won the international competition to design the new £46 million National Library in the Czech Republic capital of Prague.

The scheme will give the practice's Czech-born founder Jan Kaplicky the chance to build his first major project in his native country.

Chosen ahead of 740 entries from around the world, the firm's winning design was inspired by 'sea creatures' and has been described as a 'whimsical, undulating' structure.

Fellow Brits Carmody Groarke - the up-and-coming ex-Chipperfield duo - came a close second in the contest (below), which was judged by a panel including Eva Jiricna, Zaha Hadid and Dominique Perrault.

The other finalists on the shortlist were Czech-based practice HSH, German studios DR_D and MVMarchitekt & starkearchitektur, US firms Emergent Toma Wiscombeho and John Reed Architecture, and Swiss office Holzer Kobler Architekturen.

The new library in Letna Park, which will be covered in thousands of champagne-yellow-coloured tiles, is expected to open its doors in 2011.

by Richard Waite

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