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Louis Isadore Kahn (1901 -1974) Nationality: American Education: University of Pennsylvania.

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Presentation on theme: "Louis Isadore Kahn (1901 -1974) Nationality: American Education: University of Pennsylvania."— Presentation transcript:

1 Louis Isadore Kahn (1901 -1974) Nationality: American Education: University of Pennsylvania

2 Lewis was born in Estonia in 1901, he studied between 1920 until 1924 architecture at the University of Bbnsylvanaa. The European tour, including Carcassone in France. The work of Lewis Powell in the Office of Crete and in 1934 opened his own office and began with projects to build settlements. At the beginning of 1947, he taught at Yale University, then at the University of Bbnsylvanaa in 1957. Lewis, best known for its use of cement and bricks skillfully.

3 Project = Institution Functions = Ritual Events Design Elements = Ritual Spaces Elements of Institution: 1-Room/Individual Body/Ruin 2-Assembly/Collective Body/Light 3-Ambulatory/Street/Shadow (Transient) Elements of I


5 Design Act: Framing an Every Day Event --Encasing the Ritual/The Wall Projects: 1-First Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York, 1959 -67 2-Exeter Library, New Hampshire, 1967- 1972 3-Salk Institute, California, 1967

6 First Unitarian Church, Rochester Architect: Louis Kahn Loaction: Rochester, New York, USA Project Year: 1959-1969

7 The First Unitarian Church combines modern design aesthetic with traditional Unitarian values that promotes community and unites everyone at the heart of the building, the sanctuary.

8 [ This] idea was my first reaction to what may be a direction in the building of a Unitarian Church. …., it occurred to me that the sanctuary is merely the center of questions and that the school was that which raised the question... and I felt that that which raised the question—[and] the spirit of the question—were inseparable. So I drew the ambulatory to respect the fact that what is being said or what is felt in a sanctuary was not necessarily something you have to participate in. And so you could walk away from what is being said. And then I placed a corridor next to it—around it—which served the school which was really the walls of the entire area. [Louis I. Kahn, quoted in., Louis I. Kahn: Complete Works, 1935–74 (Colorado: Westview Press, 1977), 169.] First Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York, 1959 -67

9 In the spaces around the sanctuary Kahn situated classrooms for the school; these classrooms were what Kahn considered to be the origin from which the questions of Unitarianism were raised.


11 Kahn design four light towers that are situated at each corner of the sanctuary. The towers act as filters that saturate the sanctuary throughout the day constantly changing the perceptive qualities of the space even as the seasons change.

12 Kahn’s implementation of brick and cast-in place concrete gives the buildings a massive presence, but the heavy, monumental design presents issues on lighting the interior spaces, especially in places of worship.


14 Institution=Library Kahn dispensed with the traditional arrangement of completely separate library spaces for books and readers, usually with book stacks on the periphery of the library and reading rooms toward the center. Instead he felt that reading spaces should be near the books and also to natural light. Root Ritual Event= Reading the book For Kahn, the essence (root event/Form) of a library (Institution) was the act of taking a book from a shelf and walking a few steps to a window for a closer look: "A man with a book goes to the light. A library begins that way. He will not go fifty feet away to an electric light". Each carrel area is associated with two levels of book stacks, with the upper level structured as a mezzanine that overlooks the carrels. The book stacks also look out into the atrium. Exeter Library, Exeter, New Hampshire, USA (1965–72)

15 Exeter Library USA (1965–72) Architect: Louis Kahn Location: Exeter, New Hampshire

16 People enter the library from the ground floor and climb up a grand set of stone stairs to the first floor. Coming up the last step onto the first floor one can immediately perceive the relationship of reference area, circulation desk, and book stacks.


18 With the circulation desk on the first floor instead of the ground floor it is evident that service took priority over security. The Academy accepted this at ease since it allowed librarians to be closer to the bookstacks and the readers


20 . This main floor reaches 70 feet in height and soaks in natural light from a clerestory at the top of this space and from large expanses of glass on the north and west sides. From this 50 foot square space visitors can spot metal bookstacks and readers seven levels above through large holes punctured perfectly into the walls


22 The upper floors contain book stacks for 250,000 volumes, a student computer lab, a viewing area for videotapes and DVDs, listening areas for music, offices for use of faculty members, and 210 specially designed study carrels for students.

23 Kahn used Exeter brick on the exterior of the nine story building He also used stone and slate in the interior, and finished certain aspects of the library in natural wood.

24 Exeter Library, Exeter, New Hampshire, USA (1965–72)





29 Salk Institute, La Jolla, California, 1959 – 1966California "I did not follow the dictates of the scientists, who said that they are so dedicated to what they are doing that when lunchtime comes all they do is clear away the test tubes from the benches and eat their lunch on these benches. I asked them: was it not a strain with all these noises? And they answered: the noises of the refrigerators are terrible; the noises of centrifuges are terrible; the trickling of the water is terrible. Everything was terrible including the noises of the air-conditioning system. So I would not listen to them as to what should be done. And I realize that there should be a clean air and stainless steel area, and a rug and oak table area. From this realization form became. I separated the studies from the laboratory and placed them over gardens. The garden became outdoor spaces where one can talk. Now one need not spend all the time in the laboratories. When one knows what to do, there is only little time one needs for doing it. It is only when one does not Know what to do that it takes so much time. And to know what to do is the secret of it all." —Louis I. Kahn. from Heinz Ronner, with Sharad Jhaveri and Alessandro Vasella Louis I. Kahn: Complete Works 1935-74. p158.






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