Eva Jiřičná

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Prof. Eva Jiřičná
Eva Jiřičná (2019).jpg
Eva Jiřičná (2019)
Born (1939-03-03) March 3, 1939 (age 83)
Alma materCzech Technical University in Prague, Academy of Fine Arts, Prague
AwardsCBE, Jane Drew Prize, Honorary Silver Medal of Jan Masaryk
PracticeEva Jiricna Architects, AI DESIGN

Eva Jiřičná CBE RA (born 3 March 1939) is a Czech architect and designer, active in London and Prague. She is the founder of the architectural atelier Eva Jiricna Architects, operating in Britain (at first as Jiřičná Kerr Associates) from 1982 to 2017 and a co-founder of AI DESIGN, that she opened in 1999 together with Petr Vágner.[1] She is known for her attention to detail and work of a distinctly modern style, and for her glass staircases.

Since 1996 she has been the head of the Department of Architecture at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. In 2007, she was President of the International Commission levying a construction project of the new building of the National Library in Letná, Prague.[2]


Childhood and studies[edit]

Canada Water Bus Terminal, London 1999
Orangery at Prague Castle, Prague 1998

Jiřičná was born on 3 March 1939 in Zlín[3] in the Second Czechoslovak Republic, twelve days before it became the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia under German occupation. She lived in Zlín till the age of four, when her whole family moved to Prague.[4] She studied architecture at the Czech Technical University in Prague until 1962[3] and also at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague – as a pupil of Jaroslav Fragner[4] – where she earned an MA in 1963.[5] After finishing school, she got her first job in state administration at ÚBOK – Ústav bytové a oděvní kultury (Institute of housing and clothing culture).[4]

Great Britain[edit]

In 1968, Jiřičná gained a temporary work placement in London, working as an architect with the Greater London Council on social housing projects.[6] After the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, her travel permit was annulled by the Czechoslovakian Ministry of Interior, so that she couldn't come back.[4] She decided to stay in the United Kingdom and 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.[4] In 1976, she became a British citizen.[3] 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.[2] 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.[4] Her work on the interior design of Lloyd's Headquarters in London made her really noticed. She was later asked by Steve Jobs to work on the Apple store concept, but ultimately they went their separate ways.[7] 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.[8]

Czech Republic[edit]

After the Velvet Revolution, she began working on projects in the Czech Republic again. Jiřičná designed new Congress Centre and a new faculty building of the Tomas Bata University in her hometown of Zlín. She has also designed many new projects in Prague, including the Main hall of Komerční banka, the reconstruction of St. Anna Church in Old Town or the hotly contested project for replacing the old Central Telelecommunication Building near Žižkov freight railway station.[9] Since 2019, Jiřičná has been the head of CBRE Art of Space Awards committee, judging the aesthetics of new office, retail and industrial spaces.[10] In early 2021, Jiřičná's AI DESIGN won the tender for reconstruction of Věžák Tower, one of the dominants of Ostrava.[11]

National Life Stories conducted an oral history interview (C467/127) with Eva Jiřičná in 2015-16 for its Architects Lives' collection held by the British Library.[12]


She is an architect and interior designer, best known for her innovative use of industrial materials in retail and commercial spaces. 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.[8] Jiřičná is also open about her strong dislike for wood and cushions.[4]

Despite being on friendly terms with Zaha Hadid, Jiřičná also criticized her work, saying her "buildings are like statues of some kind, that only care about their own outer expression".[4]


Reconstruction of St. Anna Church, Old Town, Prague 2004
Glass staircase of Hotel Josef, Prague 2015
University Centre of the Tomas Bata University, Zlín 2008
Zlín Congress Centre, Zlín 2011

Great Britain[edit]

  • Kenzo design store, London 1982[3]
  • Interior design of Lloyd's Headquarters, London 1984[13]
  • Boutiques in Harrods department store, London 1985[13]
  • Legends nightclub, London 1987[14]
  • Renovation of Joseph boutique on Sloan Street, London 1989[14]
  • Reception of Design Council, London 1991[3]
  • North Woolwich footbridge, London 1991
  • Lockmeadow Pedestrian footbridge, Kent 1991
  • Royal Victoria dock, London 1991
  • Browns nightclub, London 1991[15]
  • Museum of sir John Soane, London 1993[3]
  • Joan & David shop on New Bond Street, London 1994[14]
  • De Montfort University Library, Leicester 1996[16]
  • Canada Water Bus Terminal, London 1999[17]
  • Royal Academy of Art shop, London 2001
  • Boodles store, Liverpool 2004
  • Harrods Fine Jewellery store, London 2006
  • Bollinger Jewelry Gallery of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London 2008[13]
  • Boodles Jewellery store, London 2008
  • Greenwich Hotel, London 2008[18]
  • Staircase in Somerset House, London 2014[17]

Czech Republic[edit]

Other countries[edit]



While studying architecture at CTU, one of Jiřičná's classmates was Pavel Bobek who later became a famous Czech singer. Jan Kaplický, another famous Czech architect, was Jiřičná's life partner for 10 years. She is also a vegetarian.[4]



  1. ^ "About". AI DESIGN (in Czech). Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b "7 divů Česka". ceskatelevize.cz.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Eva Jiřičná - Encyklopedie dějin města Brna - Profil osobnosti". encyklopedie.brna.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Šálek, Marek (2 March 2019). "Eva Jiřičná. Dáma z betonu. A taky ze skla". Magazín Reportér (in Czech). Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Státní ceny dostali Rotrekl, Jindra, Vyskočil i Jiřičná". magazin.aktualne.cz.
  6. ^ a b "DOX – Jiřičná". DOX. 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b Robathan, Magali (2019). "Interview: Eva Jiricna". www.cladglobal.com. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  8. ^ a b McQuinston, Liz (1988). "Eva Jiricna." Women in Design. New York: Rizzoli International Publications.
  9. ^ Jansová, Petra (19 June 2019). "Žižkovský "Mordor" nahradí tři věže od Jiřičné. Nejvyšší má mít sto metrů, podívejte se". E15.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Eva Jiřičná je v čele poroty hodnotící komerční nemovitosti". E15.cz (in Czech). 19 November 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Ostrava zrekonstruuje mrakodrap v Ostrčilově ulici". E15.cz (in Czech). 2 February 2021. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  12. ^ National Life Stories, 'Jiricna, Eva (1 of 12) National Life Stories Collection: Architects' Lives', The British Library Board, 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2018
  13. ^ a b c d Canevari, Alessandro (14 July 2019). "The Stairs to Success of Eva Jiřičná". www.progetto.cz. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  14. ^ a b c d e "Where Are They Now: Eva Jiricna". InteriorDesign.net. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Danny Lane - Browns Nightclub Sculpture". www.dannylane.co.uk. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  16. ^ Welch, Adrian (29 October 2008). "De Montfort University Library Leicester: Kimberlin". e-architect. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Ze Zlína do světa. Architektka Jiřičná slaví 80 let, její interiéry znají všude". Aktuálně.cz (in Czech). 2 March 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  18. ^ Welch, Adrian (28 May 2008). "Greenwich Hotel London, Eva Jiricna Architects". e-architect. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h "Eva Jiřičná". www.tvarchitect.com (in Czech). Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  20. ^ Mikuláš, Martin (20 September 2007). "Lávka vede z parku až dovnitř budovy". Brněnský deník (in Czech). Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  21. ^ "Archiweb - The British Council". www.archiweb.cz. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  22. ^ "The history of the church". Vize 97. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  23. ^ "Convention Centre by Eva Jiricna Architects and A.I Design s.r.o." dezeen.com. Dezeen Magazine. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  24. ^ "Café B. Braun v Lékařském domě, nová kavárna z pera Evy Jiřičné". Braunoviny (in Czech). 20 October 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  25. ^ "Sky Barrandov". Sky Barrandov (in Czech). Archived from the original on 29 August 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  26. ^ Pěničková, Barbora (6 February 2017). "V Česku je málo obchodů, za jejichž designem stojí architekti, říká Eva Jiřičná. Navrhla nový vzhled prodejen Beltissimo". Hospodářské noviny (in Czech). Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  27. ^ "Architektka Jiřičná se snaží rozradostnit Zlín. Univerzita otevřela její nové vzdělávací centrum". CT24 - Česká Televize (in Czech). 5 December 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  28. ^ "Villa, Prague". AI DESIGN. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  29. ^ "Dostavba porodnice U Apolináře bude stát dvě miliardy korun, navrhla ji Eva Jiřičná". Aktuálně.cz (in Czech). 21 May 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  30. ^ Kolina, Josef (17 October 2019). "Žižkovská ústředna půjde k zemi. Ukrývá obří velín, podzemní tunel i kryt". Forbes.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  31. ^ "Current Royal Designers". Royal Society of Arts. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  32. ^ "No. 53696". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 June 1994. p. 9.
  33. ^ "Awards". EJAL. Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  34. ^ Rosenfield, Karissa (8 March 2013). "Eva Jiricna Awarded 2013 Jane Drew Prize". ArchDaily. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  35. ^ "Honorary Doctors". RCA. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  36. ^ "Resumes of recipients of the Silver Medal of Jan Masaryk" (PDF).
  37. ^ "Stříbrná medaile Jana Masaryka".

Further reading[edit]

  • Eva Jiřičná, Prague Castle Administration, Prague 1998
  • In/Ex Terior: The Works Of Eva Jiřičná, Prostor, Prague 2005
  • Karel Hvížďala, Prostory a dialogy Evy Jiřičné, Prostor, Praha 2011

External links[edit]