University of Santo Tomas
College Of Architecture
Louis Isadore Kahn
Theory of Architecture II
Brain Mathew B. Parras
Table of Contents
Richards Medical Research Building
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Indian Institute of Management
National Assembly Building, Bangladesh
Phillips Exeter Library
Kimbell Art Museum
Yale Center for British Art
Complete list of projects
American Institute of Architects
Royal Institute of British Architects
Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Complete list of awards
Louis Isadore Kahn (1901-1974)
Louis Kahn and his siblings
Louis Isadore Kahn was born in February 20, 1901 on the Baltic island of Osel (now Saaremaa) off the coast of Estonia to Leopold and Bertha Kahn. His father, Leopold Kahn, was a Jewish artisan in stained glass and a literate man gifted in languages while his mother, Bertha Mendelsohn Kahn, who was educated in Riga in the Germanic tradition. As a child of three, Louis Kahn suffered a dreadful accident that was to mark him literally for the remainder of his life, Attracted by the color of coals burning green instead of red or blue, he reached into the fire and pulled some out into his apron, the coals flared up and seriously burned his face and hands, leaving permanent disfiguring scars. His mother thought that he was touched by destiny after this and singled him out for support. Her special care and a talent in drawing that surfaced early sustained and distinguished Louis Kahn in his youth. His drawings in one story he later told, caught the attention of the captain of the ship bringing his family to America to join his father. The family was rewarded with oranges when his mother presented the captain with the five year-old’s drawing of a steamship. Their family was so poor that in 1906, his mother, and his two siblings Oscar and Sarah with himself immigrated to the United States to reunite with his father since he had found work there. According to his son's documentary film in 2003 the family couldn't afford pencils but made their own charcoal sticks from burnt twigs so that Louis could earn a little money from drawings and later ,when he was college, by playing piano to accompany silent movies. Shortly after their arrival in Philadelphia five year-old Louis was afflicted by scarlet fever. Together with the facial scars left by an earlier accident this illness left him too weak to start school and he was taught at home. When Louis finally went to school at seven, the shy boy was so gifted at art that his teachers asked him to create illustration on the blackboard and finally gained his confidence. Because of his inclination to art the teachers steered him towards the special courses for talented students in Philadelphia’s enlightened education system and with this young Louis won art completions all over Philadelphia. In 1912, Kahn attended public high school that offered encouragement in the arts. It was during his last years in high school, when he took mandatory classes on the history of architecture that he discovered architecture and determined to become an architect. In the class he made five different drawing of styles – Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Renaissance and Gothic – not only for himself but also for half of his classmates. In 1920, he won a full four-year scholarship to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts but rather than accepting it he insisted on following the new career choice despite his parents’ hopes that he continue in a field in which the way seemed prepared. At the University of Pennsylvania, Kahn entered the Beaux-Arts program where he was taught by a Frenchman named Paul Philippe Cret, An inspiring teacher, Cret instilled his students with his own belief that the architect’s...
References: My Architect: A Son’s Journey; Nathaniel Kahn
The Art Museums of Louis I. Kahn; Patricia Cummings Loud
[ 2 ]. The Sesquicentennial International Exposition of 1926 was a world 's fair hosted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the 50th anniversary of the 1876 Centennial Exposition
[ 3 ]. For Kahn, architecture is not the art of space (sculpture can encompass space) or of use (we use all kinds of tools) but of human institutions. If we think about it, all architecture serves institutions: the house serves the institution of residence; the school serves the institution of education; the laboratory serves the institution of science; the church serves the institution of religion.
[ 4 ]. The principle that architects should design a building based on the purpose of that building.
[ 5 ]. An influential modernist style in architecture that developed in Europe and the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, characterized chiefly by regular, unadorned geometric forms, open interiors, and the use of glass, steel, and reinforced concrete.
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