Learning From The Master #15 – Louis Kahn

Hi Restless Spirit!

We are gonna hold another Learning from the Master session, tomorrow, 29th July 2017 on Friday, at 7 pm covering the architect Louis I. Kahn.

Louis Kahn (1901-1974) is one of the most influential architects of the mid-twentieth century. Some interesting thoughts that we can learn from him are:

1. Visionary architect

Kahn poured his energy into his most demanding projects, the 1962-74 Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and the monumental Capital Complex in Dhaka, which he began in 1962 but which was completed after his death. It was in Dhaka that Kahn realised his dream of building a city of the future. The project was intensely problematic, construction was not only disrupted by political unrest and, eventually a war for independence in Bangladesh but bedevilled by the logistical difficulties of building in a city prone to floods and storms. The result is a magical sequence of buildings that appear to float above the surrounding water in vernacular red brick and concrete brilliantly constructed by local craftsmen. In a Muslim city prey to painful poverty and natural disaster, Louis Kahn achieved his goal of creating a monumental modern architecture, which is at once spiritually uplifting and humane.

2. Expert manipulator of form and light

He showed that it was possible to design modern buildings without using lightweight materials such as steel and glass that were associated with Modernism and the International Style. Convinced that contemporary architects could – and should – produce buildings which were as monumental and as spiritually inspiring as the ancient ruins of Greece and Egypt.

3. Highly complex personality

When Louis finally went to school, the shy boy was so gifted at art and music that his teachers steered him towards the special courses for talented students in Philadelphia’s enlightened education system. Despite his family’s poverty, Kahn received an excellent education and, inspired by a high school course in architectural history, won a scholarship to study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. His legacy is achieved through the hardship and very long iteration process within his life.

We will look into his life from through his son’s (Nathaniel Kahn) experiences.

Nathaniel Kahn is an American filmmaker. His documentary film, My Architect (2003) — about his father, the famous architect Louis Kahn — and Two Hands (2006) were nominated for Academy Awards.

World-famous architect, Louis Kahn (Exeter Library, Salk Institute, Bangladeshi Capitol Building), had two illegitimate off-springs with two women outside of his marriage. Nathaniel had always hoped that someday his father would come and live with him and his mother, but Kahn never left his wife. Instead, Kahn was found dead in a man’s room in Penn Station when Nathaniel was only 11. Nathaniel travels the world visiting his father’s buildings, meeting his father’s contemporaries, colleagues, students, wives, and children. The trip was recorded in this film. [1]

[1] a review on IMDB written by martin lewisonhttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373175/plotsummary

The lecture will be held on Friday, 29th of July, 2016, at 07.00 pm, at OMAH Library, Taman Amarilis II F2 15/16, Taman Villa Meruya, Jakarta Barat.

For RSVP, please directly send your email to omahlibrary.reservation@gmail.com

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