Future Systems

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About Future Systems

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Future SystemsFuture Systems was a London-based architectural and design practice, formerly headed by Directors Jan Kaplický and Amanda Levete.

Future Systems was founded by Kaplický and David Nixon after working with Denys Lasdun, Norman Foster, Renzo Piano, and Richard Rogers in 1979. The work of Future Systems can be classified within the British high-tech architects as either bionic architecture or amorphous, organic shapes sometimes referred to as “blobitecture”. “Compared to his peers, Kaplicky was the avant-garde incarnate, relentlessly pursuing the new new thing, refusing to settle into some predictable, and comfortable, architectural niche.”

Future Systems proposals adapted construction methods from other professions, including (most commonly) the curved monocoque shell structures found in aircraft design, car design and boat building.

In the 1990s the company moved from theoretical projects to fee-paying work with projects such as the “spacecraft-like” Media Centre at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London (completed 1999), and the Selfridges Building (completed 2003). For Lord’s, Kaplicky received the Stirling Prize. The Selfridges department store is a prime example of the early 21st century movement referred to as “blobitecture”, and has been compared to Peter Cook’s Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria.

After Future Systems won the Stirling Prize, the firm received larger commissions including the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena, Italy (2009) and the unbuilt new Czech National Library. In 2008 Kaplický and Levete split the firm. Kaplický took the firm name and some staff to the Czech republic, and Levete would take a proposed new headquarters for News Corporation in east London and a commission for a hotel and retail complex in Bangkok, Thailand, along with most of the staff- between 35 and 45 people.