About Louis I. Kahn

Louis Kahn (1901-1974), American architect of Estonian origin, one of the leading masters of the twentieth century thanks to the monumental poetry that developed in its brick buildings and concrete.

He was born on February 20, 1901 on the island of Osel, Estonia and four years emigrated with his family to the United States. In 1924 he graduated as an architect from the University of Pennsylvania and spent twenty years after collaborating with colleagues in various works, especially residential character. Your project team for the Carver Housing Court War (1942-1943) in Coatsworth, Pennsylvania was one of the first to gain widespread recognition.

In the Art Gallery for Yale University (1952-1954), a modular construction composed of prismatic volumes, first he used concrete roof space truss, which exposes the light fixtures and air conditioning ducts. The Richards (1958-1961) laboratories at the University of Pennsylvania are articulated by the opposition between servers spaces (vertical communication cores and conditioning systems) and served spaces (laboratories and studies), in which Kahn was inspired to compose an impressive building where the wall towers, medieval appearance, contrasting with the glazed areas of the strictest modernity.

Another of his most important works are the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, (1965), the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth (Texas, 1972) and the whole of the National Assembly in Dhaka (1965-1974), the new capital of Bangladesh.

The work of this architect moved away from the functionalist path marked by the Bauhaus or International Style, and is more related to the search, initiated by Le Corbusier, a new poetic associated with the modern movement. His main themes were the space and light, and defined his work as ‘reflexive construction of spaces’, a maxim that is evident when comparing the interiors of their buildings with outside, much less dramatic. One of the best examples of their expertise in handling light is his latest work, the Yale Center for British Art (completed in 1977). He taught at Yale University, and his mystical character led him to personify the forms and materials, which always recognized soul and will. He died on March 17, 1974 in New York.