polished steel

For twenty long years, an extraordinary object has been hiding unnoticed on Italy's Lago di Como. A work called Acquae, which materializes the idea of the world-famous architect Jan Kaplický about the future of bottled water consumption in public spaces. Until 2024, it was only seen by visitors to the Triennale di Milano and the 9th Biennale di Venezia in Venice. After that, Acquae was hidden from public view.

Was it a lucky coincidence? It was an inevitable fate. After two decades of resting in obscurity, the steel drop was noticed during a visit to Milan by the renowned British architect Lord Norman Foster, who was linked to Jan Kaplicky not only by profession but also by friendship. His discovery began to write a new, happier chapter in the story of Acquae.

After negotiations with the manufacturer of the installation, it was decided that Jan Kaplický's object would return to the Czech Republic. Many thanks to Eliška Kaplický Fuchsová, founder of the Kaplicky Centre Foundation, who guaranteed its safe transport to the Czech Republic. This was arranged by Art Lines. The reconstruction of the work was undertaken by the sculptor Lukáš Rais, who with his team restored it to its original lustre over a period of four months.

Now Acquae stands before you again in its original splendour, as a legacy of a Czech visionary whose work changed the way we look at the essence of modern architecture. And thanks to you, it will not fall into oblivion.

Jan Kaplický

2024 — 2009

A world-famous Czech architect who lived most of his life in the UK. He was the leading force behind the innovative architectural studio Future Systems. After the Soviet invasion, he left for London in September 1968, where he worked for Denys Lasdun and Partners (until 1971) and then for the studio of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers (until 1973).

In 1979, Jan Kaplicky founded his own architectural studio, Future Systems, together with David Nixon, and began to develop his own style, combining organic forms with high-tech futurism.

In 1994 Future System was commissioned to build a media centre at Lord's Cricket Ground. This building won the most prestigious award for architects in the UK, the Stirling Prize, awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1999, and also received the World Architecture Award in 2001. Another iconic project by Future Systems was the Selfridges department store in Birmingham, which won seven awards, including the 2004 RIBA Award for Architecture.

In 2007, Kaplický's design won the international architectural competition for the new National Library in Prague. The project was subsequently cancelled.

Source: taken from

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