Louis I KahnRobert McCarter

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The esteemed monograph on the globally-revered modern master – includes Roosevelt Island, Four Freedoms Park, which was completed after Kahn’s death

The significance of the work of Louis I Kahn, one of the greatest influences on post-WWII world architecture, has skyrocketed in the twenty-first century. Robert McCarter’s bestselling and critically acclaimed monograph explains how Kahn redefined Modern architecture and why his work remains a fundamental source for architects and designers today. Now thoughtfully updated, this comprehensive and extensively illustrated overview features both built and unbuilt projects, including Yale University Art Gallery, Kimbell Art Museum, and the Salk Institute, along with his work in India and Bangladesh, as well as a project realized forty years after Kahn’s death – New York City’s Four Freedoms Park. 

An indispensable reference work on one of the most important figures in 20th-century architecture. McCarter analyzes each of Kahn’s major buildings from the design process, methods and materials of construction to ‘walk-throughs’ of the spaces themselves and the book includes selected writings by Kahn as well as the complete chronology of Kahn’s projects, compiled by William Whitaker, Curator and Collections Manager of the Louis I Kahn Archives. Each project is illustrated with photographs and drawings that convey the spirit of Kahn’s work, as well as the inspirations that led to the design and buildings featured include such architectural icons as Yale Art Gallery, Kimbell Art Museum, and the Salk Institute, along with Kahn’s work in India and Bangladesh. This is an indispensable reference work on one of the most important figures in 20th-century architecture. 



  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 305 × 238 mm (12 × 9 3/8 in)
  • Pages: 528 pp
  • Illustrations: 800 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781838663049

Robert McCarter is a practicing architect and has been Ruth and Norman Moore Professor of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis since 2007. He taught previously at the University of Florida, where he was Director of the School of Architecture from 1991–2001, and Columbia University, among other schools. He has written for numerous international publications, and his books include: Grafton Architects (2018); Marcel Breuer (2016); Steven Holl (2015); Alvar Aalto (2014); Carlo Scarpa (2013); Understanding Architecture, co-authored with Juhani Pallasmaa (2012); and Louis I Kahn (2005), all by Phaidon Press. He has also published The Work of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects: Economy as Ethic (2017); The Space Within: Interior Experience as the Origin of Architecture (2016); and Aldo van Eyck (2015), among other books.


"Descriptions of each building and case study are extraordinarily successful...[this book] achieves what Kahn often outlined as the ultimate challenge for an architect: capturing the mind's vision." - Blueprint

"Deserves a place as a solid student textbook." - Architect's Journal

"Beautiful" - Prospect

"Should be an inspiration for students and teachers in any design and technology, engineering or art department... This beautifully produced 500 page book could be used not only for the insight it gives into Kahn's design, but also for its extensive series of concept drawings, detailed plans, photographs of architectural models, and sketches and photographs of completed projects." - Bill Richmond, Times Educational Supplement

"The time is ripe for comprehensive critical assessment of [Kahn's] work...McCarter's [...] book is comprehensive in scope, thoroughly researched, well written, extensively illustrated... and beautifully produced by Phaidon... at the end of the book, McCarter concisely grasps and articulates something of the essential truth about Kahn." - The Architectural Review

"This homage to Kahn is helped by the drama of his prodigious output of theoretical schemes and foiled master plans...when he suceeded, the results were spectacular...this book does him proud." - Wallpaper* (Wallpaper* Design Awards 2006)

"A labour of love... a conscientious review&... Kahn, is, after Le Corbusier, the major architectural thinker of the twentieth century, revered as much by Norman Foster as by Robert Venturi." - Robert Maxwell, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, Princeton University, Times Literary Supplement)