Prof. Eva Jiřičná Received TBU Honorary Degree
The honorary degree of doctor honoris causa was conferred upon Prof. Eva Jiřičná, a world-renowned architect and a native of Zlín, at Tomas Bata University in Zlín on 18 May 2011. “The University took the decision to award a honorary doctorate to Prof. Jiřičná above all in recognition of her life’s work and her contribution to architecture and interior design, for her excellent presentation of TBU in the Czech Republic and abroad and for contributing to the reputation of the University and of the town of Zlín,” said Prof. Petr Sáha, TBU Rector.
Prof. Jiřičná, who has her own company in London and an affiliated office in Prague, is one of the most prominent Czech architects of the present time; her works can be found all around the world. Eva gained professional experience in London in the studio ‘Louis de Soisson Partnership’ working on Brighton Marina, before joining Richard Rogers RA, handling many of the interiors on the Lloyds of London headquarters. She became famous for designing interiors of London and New York fashion shops and boutiques. She designed the Harrods department store in cooperation with Jan Kaplický and his Future Systems Studio.
Among the most famous projects by Eva Jiřičná in the Czech Republic the following are to be named: Interiors of the Dancing House and those of the British Council in Prague, Orangery in the Royal Garden of the Prague Castle, hotels ‘Josef’ and ‘Maximilian’, interiors in the gothic St. Anne’s Church in the Prague Old Town, footbridge in Brno, and, of course, the Congress and University Centre in Zlín.
Prof. Jiřičná is known for her distinctive style: As regards materials, she prefers glass, steel and stone. The outstanding features of her conception of design are elegance, a play of shade and light, her sense of detail and meticulous elaboration.
Eva Jiřičná earned many awards for her contribution to architecture and design, among them e.g. the Royal Designer for Industry and the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to interior design. She was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts and inducted into the American Hall of Fame. As the only living architect she is featured in the book A Century of Design: Design Pioneers of the Twentieth Century.
She is the Chairperson of the Architect Association in London and a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. She received honorary doctorates and professorial degrees from several universities, she is often on international juries in architecture competitions and holds numerous lectures on architecture at many universities. Her works are also regularly mentioned in prestigious journals and in books. “During her lectures held all around the world Prof. Jiřičná mentions the history of Zlín including its typical Bata Architecture, and also its positive impact of our University on the architecture of the town of Zlín. The name of Professor Jiřičná opens the doors for us in the field of international cooperation; her talent, diligence and professionalism can be an inspiring example to our students, and that not only to those studying visual arts,“ said Prof. Sáha.
Prof. Jiřičná is internationally considered to be the first lady of hi-tech architecture. “There are not that many architects in the world to have received such a high number of awards in recognition of their work and to have earned such respect as Eva Jiřičná has. Which is even more admirable when we consider that this fragile looking lady has managed to be successful in a field exclusively dominated by men,“ added Prof. Sáha.
Eva Jiřičná became the second holder of the TBU honorary doctorate. The first person to receive the TBU honorary degree was Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, who was awarded the degree in Zlín on 22 April 2009.