The intricate drawings of the late architect Jan Kaplický, considered one of the finest illustrators in his industry, are exalted in a new book
A book of drawings has been published by Circa Press to celebrate the work of Czech-born architect Jan Kaplický (1937-2009), considered by some to be the finest architectural illustrator of the late 20th century. The large-format volume features an essay by Ivan Margolius and foreword by lifelong friend Richard Rogers, who first employed Kaplický in 1970.
Summing up Kaplický’s work, Rogers writes: “His spirited drawings were at the same time intricate and incredibly economical, able to communicate his Space-Age visions with just a few strokes of the pen.”
The book features illustrations of projects from 1975–1994 including Future Systems’ Stirling Prize-winning Lord’s Media Centre. Its layout design is beautifully simple from cover to cover, allowing the sharp detail of the drawings to flourish. Illustrations and plans are interspersed with vibrant artwork showing the finished designs in hyper-real situ, often filling a page or two, balancing complex detail with visual abundance.
To coincide with the book’s publication, an exhibition of Kaplický’s drawings is currently on show at the Architectural Association; designed by Amanda Levete, it’s on until 27 March. There will also be a book launch at Waterstone’s Piccadilly on 24 March with Rogers and Levete talking about their memories of Kaplický.
The list of well-known industry names linked to the publication is not only a measure of Kaplický’s eminence, but also the regard in which architectural draftsmanship is still held in the digital age.