Louis Kahn Week
From 1957 until his death, Louis Kahn was a professor of architecture at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. Kahn created a style that was monumental and monolithic; his heavy buildings do not hide their weight, their materials, or the way they are assembled. Louis Kahn's works are considered as monumental beyond modernism. Famous for his meticulously built works, his provocative unbuilt proposals, and his teaching, Kahn was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. He was awarded the AIA Gold Medal and the RIBA Gold Medal. At the time of this death he was considered by some as "America's foremost living architect."
In remembrance of his life and work, ORO Editions will be celebrating his career every day this week. At the time of his death, Kahn was in debt and on the verge of fading into obscurity. ORO believes his work continues to drive innovative design and reverence. In light of no celebrations occuring this week, we hope to reinvigorate the architectural world with the work and ideas of Louis Kahn.
Today is the 40th anniversary of his untimely death. When he died, he remained a teacher and a writer, but much of his beautiful work had fallen out of favor. Today, we revisit perhaps his greatest work, the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, a classic work of architecture still in use today. To get a scope of the work, this Arch Daily Essay gives a good overview: http://www.archdaily.com/83071/ad-classics-national-assembly-building-of... . In commemoration of this masterful design and the storied career of Louis Kahn, ORO Editions is also releasing a photographic tour of this amazing building. You can see the book here at http://www.oroeditions.com//book/louis-kahn. And if you are looking for more striking photos, visit the book's author and photographer, Grischa Ruschendorf at http://www.rupho.com/#mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=0&p=0&a=2&at=0 .
Friday, we celebrated Louis Kahn the writer. Not only was Kahn one of the great designers and teachers of the 20th century, but he was an accomplished and diverse writer. Sometimes poetic, often scholarly, and always intriguiing, Kahn contributed a lot of text to the contemporary design dialogiues of his time. Of his texts, many are considered classics of architectural thought and theory: The Nature of Nature, Space and Inspirations, and The Room, the Street and the Human Agreement. There are many books out there that have anthologized his writings. The essay, The Room, The Street, and The Human Agreement, can be read here: https://www.japlusu.com/news/room-street-and-human-agreement .
Thursday, we reignited the work of Louis Kahn the architect. He was known for his ability to create monumental architecture that responded to human scale and his spaces' poetic sensibilities. We covered his poetic abilities on Tuesday, but today we want to pull through his poetics and translate them to the architectural world. A quick google search will yield many headlines like "poetry of light" or "playing with shadow", etc. For a good read on the elemental style of Kahn, check out this essay from archdaily, http://www.archdaily.com/362554/light-matters-louis-kahn-and-the-power-o... or this one http://www.architectural-review.com/louis-kahn-the-space-of-ideas/863750.... We remember him for what he wanted, the structures he left behind, the forms he inspired, and the legacy his buildings continue to have on the people who use them.
On Wednesday, we paid our respects to Louis Kahn the teacher. Kahn's teaching career started at Yale University in 1947. He was eventually named the Albert F. Bemis Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at MIT in 1956. The next year, Kahn returned to his alma mater, UPENN, where he taught until his death in 1974. In addition to the time he spent pouring over student work and pacing the studio floor, Kahn served as an apprentice to many of the world's most prominent architects, from Moshe Safide and Robert Venturi, to Jack Diamond, Charles Dagit, and Muzharul Islam. In honor of his efforts to nuture the architecture of the future, we present this classic documentary which includes scenes of the studios he taught.
On Tuesday, we celebrated Louis Kahn the Poet. He was known for his international style and his philosophy of using a "poetry of light." But he was a lifetime writer and frequently recorded his impressions and thoughts in lines of poetry. He wrote the poem, here at http://www.phaidon.com/agenda/architecture/articles/2013/october/18/carl..., right before he died. The poem is about the work of Carlo Scarpa.