Eva Jiřičná

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Eva Jiřičná

Eva Jiřičná CBE RA (born 3 March 1939) is a Czech architect and designer, active in London and Prague. She is known for her attention to detail and work of a distinctly modern style, and for her steel and glass staircases.

Jiřičná is an architect and interior designer, best known for her innovative use of industrial materials in retail and commercial spaces. Jiřičná was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. She studied engineering and architecture until 1962, when she earned an MA at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts.

In 1968, Jiřičná moved to London, working as an architect with the Greater London Council. A year later, she became an associate in the Louis de Soissons Partnership. Here, she spent eight years working on design and construction of the Brighton Marina. By the end of 1980 she had formed her own practice alongside David Hodges. From here, she began to be recognized for her work in architectural competitions with her business partner. During this time, Jiřičná also shifted from technical architectural projects to interior design assignments, but still incorporated the complexities of her architectural background.

Jiřičná continued to gain recognition in the mid-eighties. She met fashion designer and entrepreneur Joseph Ettedgui, designing several of his Joseph retail shops in London, and eventually his own Knightsbridge flat. By 1985 she had formed Jiřičná Kerr Associates with Kathy Kerr, a practice which is still operating, now under the name of Eva Jiřičná Architects. Her business of ten team members works on projects including architecture, interior design, and furniture design.

Eva Jiřičná creatively fused her engineering and architecture background with interior design. By utilizing lighting effects and material characteristics, she maximized space in an intriguing manner. The understanding of architecture is perhaps responsible for this, Jiřičná was able to transform the sometimes unmanageable spaces of London’s old buildings into usable area. While she gained recognition with architectural projects, her store design commissions were large contributions to her profession. She demonstrated how retail design could be treated with architectural concepts, strengthening the image of interior design.

[McQuinston, Liz. "Eva Jiricna." Women in Design. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1988. 62-63. Print.]

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