Louis kahn


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Louis kahn

  1. 1. Q. Study one louis kahn building and express is principlesKimbell Art MuseumKimbell art museum at fort worth, texas, is considered the crown jewel ofLouis Kahn. The brief demanded for a modern building where natural lightshould play a vital role and the form to be a work of art of modest scale – notoverwhelming the viewer and the artwork.The museum is composed of 16 parallel vaults that are each 100 feet (30.5 m)long, 20 feet (6 m) high and 23 feet (7 m) wide (internal measurements). Thevaults are grouped into three wings. The north and south wings each have sixvaults, with the western one open as a portico. The central space has four vaults,with the western one open as an entry porch facing a courtyard partially enclosedby the two outside wings.Most of the art galleries are located on the upper floor of the museum to allowaccess to natural light. Service and curatorial spaces as well as an additional galleryoccupy the ground floor. Each interior vault has a slot along its apex to allownatural light into the galleries. Air ducts and other mechanical services are locatedin the spaces where the edges of the vaults almost meet.
  2. 2. The main feature of the Kimbell art museum is the lighting. The interior is superblylighted, thanks to the shape of the barrel vault, focusing the light as if it is a torchlight.Louis Kahn had this done very well indeed, as light is the main factor in designing an artgallery or museum. A reflecting screen made of perforated anodized aluminum with aspecific curve was used to distribute natural light evenly across the cycloid curve of theceiling. In areas without art, such as the entry hall, cafeteria and library, the entirereflector is perforated, making it possible for people standing beneath to glimpsepassing clouds. In the gallery spaces, the central part of the reflector, which is directlybeneath the sun, is solid, while the remainder is perforated. The concrete surfaces ofthe ceiling were given a high finish to further assist the reflection of the light. The endresult is that the strong Texas sun enters a narrow slot at the top of each vault and isevenly reflected from a curved screen across the entire arc of the polished concreteceiling, ensuring a beautiful distribution of natural light that had never before beenachieved.
  3. 3. Kahn used several techniques to give the galleries an inviting atmosphere. He hadpozzuolana added to the concrete mix to give it a warmer color. The ends of the vaults,which are made of concrete block, are faced with travertine inside and out. Thehandrails and other stainless steel elements were "sandblasted" with ground pecanshells to create a matte surface texture. The museum has three glass-walled courtyardsthat bring natural light to the gallery spaces. One of them penetrates the gallery floor tobring natural light to the conservation studio on the ground floor.Kahn’s love for monumental buildings is evident in this piece of art. The vaults appear tobe floating on a few pillars.The landscaping has been described as "Kahns most elegant built example of landscapeplanning." Approaching the main entrance past a lawn edged by pools with runningwater, the visitor enters a courtyard through a grove of Yaopon holly trees. The soundof footsteps on the gravel walkway echoes from the walls on either side of thecourtyard and is magnified under the curved ceiling of the entry porch. After that subtlepreparation, the visitor enters the hushed museum with silvery light spread across itsceiling.
  4. 4. Q. Essay on monumentalityA. Monuments are human landmarks, which men have created as symbols fortheir ideals, for their aims, and for their actions. They are intended to outlive theperiod, which originated them, and constitute a heritage for future generations.Monuments are the expression of man’s highest cultural needs. They have tosatisfy the eternal demand of the people for translation of their collective forceinto symbols. The most vital monuments are those which express the feeling andthinking of this collective force - the people. The last hundred years have witnessed the devaluation of monumentality.This does not mean that there is any lack of formal monuments or architecturalexamples pretending to serve this purpose: but the so-called monuments ofrecent date have, with rare exceptions, become empty shells. They in no wayrepresent the spirit or the collective feeling of modern times. This decline and misuse of monumentality is the principal reason whymodern architects have deliberately disregarded the monument and revoltedagainst it. Modern architecture, like modern painting and sculpture, had to startthe hard way. It began by tackling the simpler problems, the more utilitarianbuildings like low rent housing, schools, office buildings, hospitals, and similarstructures. Today modern architects know that buildings cannot be conceived asisolated units, that they have to be incorporated into the vaster urban schemes.There are no frontiers between architecture and town planning, just as there areno frontiers between the city and the region. Correlation between them isnecessary. Monuments should constitute the most powerful accents in these vastschemes. The people want the buildings that represent their social and community lifeto give more than functional fulfilment. They want their aspiration formonumentality, joy, pride, and excitement to be satisfied. The fulfillment of thisdemand can be accomplished with the new means of expression at hand, thoughit is no easy task. The following conditions are essential for it. A monument beingthe integration of the work of the planner, architect, painter, sculptor, andlandscapist demands close collaboration between all of them.
  5. 5. Sites for monuments must be planned. This will be possible once replanning isundertaken on a large scale, which will create vast open spaces in the nowdecaying areas of our cities. In these open spaces, monumental architecture willfind its appropriate setting which now aces not exist.
  6. 6. Monumental buildings will then be able to stand in space, for, like trees orplants, monumental buildings cannot be crowded in upon any odd lot in anydistrict. Only when this space is achieved can the new urban centres cometo life.9. Modern materials and new techniques are at hand: light metal structures;curved, laminated wooden arches: panels of different textures, colours, andsizes; light elements like ceilings which can be suspended from big trussescovering practically unlimited spans.Mobile elements can constantly vary the aspect of the buildings. Thesemobile elements, changing positions and casting different shadows whenacted upon by wind or machinery, can be the source of new architecturaleffects.During night hours, colour and forms can be projected on vast surfaces. Suchdisplays could be projected upon buildings for purposes of publicity orpropaganda. These buildings would have large plane surfaces planned forthis purpose, surfaces which are non-existent today. Such big animatedsurfaces with the use of colour and movement in a new spirit would offerunexplored fields to mural painters and sculptors.