An in-depth and scholarly monograph on the mid-20th century architect.
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Born in Estonia in 1901, Louis Isidore Kahn was to become one of the United States' most important architects of the post-war period, alongside the modern masters Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. Although renowned for a number of seminal modern works, he came to question many of the precepts of the modern movement. He questioned with particular rigour the ability of the 'international style of modernism' to house the social spaces required by the latter half of the century.
In 1947 Kahn was appointed Professor at Yale University. He continued to teach throughout his architectural career, influencing a sequence of younger generations of architects along the way. His teaching enabled him to develop further his own concepts and to inform his ever-evolving definition of design. He was drawn to investigate the concept of monumentality in architecture - creating buildings out of heavy, solid materials and forms and incorporating vivid plays of light, in complete contrast to the lightweight glass and steel structures being created elsewhere by his peers.
This monumentality was also imbued with his concern for the ritual of human experience. His career, though extending to just over twenty years, was richly diverse, and one through which he continually reshaped the relations between light, mass, structure, geometry and materials.
This monograph follows a predominantly chronological order, identifying major themes and examining key works in accordance to the backbone of these themes. A comprehensive list of projects by Kahn spanning his lifetime and drawn from the 'Louis I Kahn Collection' at the University of Pennsylvania Archives is also included, listing over 231 projects, of which at least thirty were previously unattributed.