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Louis i kahan


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Louis i kahan

  1. 1. And the challenge of monumenatality
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION  Louis Isadore Kahn was born in 1901 on the Baltic island of Osel, Estonia.  At the age of four, Kahn moved with his family to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The family couldn't even afford pencils but made their own charcoal sticks from burnt twigs so that Louis could earn a little money from drawings and later by playing piano to accompany silent movies.  Kahn attended public schools and supplemented his education with art classes at the local industrial Art school, where he focused on drawing and he continued until his high school.
  3. 3.  Kahn earned his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania University in 1924. He closely studied under Paul Philippe Cret, an architect trained under École des Beaux Arts.  There is possibilities that educational model of École des Beaux Arts that Thomas Eakins – and later Paul Cret at the University of Pennsylvania – had an impact on Kahn both as a professor and as an architect.  After graduating from Penn in the spring of 1924, Kahn went on to work for Philadelphia City Architect, John Molitor. Working primarily as a draftsman, Kahn was involved on a number of civic designs.
  4. 4.  In 1928, Kahn made a European tour and took a particular interest in the medieval walled city of Carcassonne, France and the castles of Scotland rather than any of the strongholds of classicism or modernism.  After working in various capacities for several firms in Philadelphia, he founded his own atelier in 1935. While continuing his private practice, he served as a design critic and professor of architecture at Yale School of Architecture from 1947 to 1957.  From 1957 until his death, he was a professor of architecture at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania.  Mussollini’s foro, Italico
  5. 5. DEVELOPEMENT AS AN ARCHITECT    Kahn’s formation took place before the modern architecture had established a firm hold in us. He was rigorously trained in Beauxarts system and therefore was aware with the classical grammar, with devices of axial organization and an attitude to design which took it for granted that one should consult tradition for support. He certainly realized the need for the change which better accommodated the needs and the means of times. He seemed to particularly learn lessons from Sullian and Wright and later from Meis Wan-Der Rohe. When Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoy was published around the world in 1929, Vincent Scully wrote, “suddenly one could no longer look at buildings that were symmetrical, massive, heavy; one could no longer use the classical order in which Kahn had been trained, because now architecture had to be thin, taut, light, asymmetrical, stretched out to pure idea.” Suddenly, in 1929, Kahn found himself at an intersection of two divergent architectural perspectives.
  6. 6.  He was a slow developer, and his designs of houses in forties were unexceptional extensions to International Style.  A stay at the American Academy in Rome in the early 1950s marked a turning point in Kahn's career. The back-to-thebasics approach adopted after visiting the ruins of ancient buildings in Italy, Greece, and Egypt helped him to develop his own style of architecture.  Influenced by ancient ruins, Kahn's style tends to the monumental and monolithic; his heavy buildings do not hide their weight, their materials, or the way they are assembled.  Louis Kahn's works are considered as MONUMENTAL beyond modernism. Famous for his meticulous built works, his provocative unbuilt proposals, and his teaching, Kahn was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century.
  7. 7.  Kahn’s architecture was based on social vision. For he believed there to be archetypal patterns of social relationship that it was the business of architecture to uncover and celebrate. A good plan would be the one which would found the central meaning.  He believed that any architectural problem had an ‘essential’ meaning which far transcended a mere functional diagram.  A good design is one where the ‘form’, the underlying meaning, was coherently expressed through all the parts.  The idealistic position with regards to spiritual roots of both social and aesthetic realms motivated hi major designs in 60’s and led him to clarify a simple set of type forms based on primary geometry.
  8. 8. Oser house (1940-1942) Eherik house (1959-61)
  9. 9.  One is struck with the consistency of plans, with primary meaning of institution is expressed in central space and secondary space tends to be set out as a fringe around the primary generator.
  10. 10.  One is struck with the consistency of plans, with primary meaning of institution is expressed in central space and secondary space tends to be set out as a fringe around the primary generator.  These designs are inspired by symbolic and cosmological geometry, mandalas, and ancient ruins.  Like Wright, Kahn believed in ‘cause conservative’, invoking the elemental law and order in all great architecture. He was able to achieve this spirit not by copying past but by probing the underlying principles and attempting to universalize them  For Kahn the aim of architecture doesn’t change, only the means.  Piazza del Campo,Siena
  11. 11. YALE ART GALLERY (1951-1953) .  One of his famous structures and the first significant commission, the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut was designed when he was a visiting critic at the Yale School of Architecture as the first of three art museums to be designed and built
  12. 12.  While walking along the bordering street of the campus, the building’s blank walls stand out against the neo-Gothic background of the university. He responded to the many levels and textures of an electric urban environment with a subtle, inward looking design.  The building is a masterpiece of simplicity of form and light, a sleek, four-story box with elegantly austere glass and gray concrete cinder-block walls divided by a central elevator bank and circular stairwell. But the building's blank walls mark a radical break with the neo-Gothic context of the university. Kahn's critics called this a "brutalist" gesture.
  13. 13. PLAN The plan suggests that the entire building is a displaced box whose core elements lock the composition in place. If the core elements were removed, the geometry of the building would collapse to an originating square.
  14. 14.  The interior space seemed to evoke an entirely different world from the brash mass-produced environment of standardized panels and suspended ceilings. The effects of the light falling over the weave of a diagrid ceiling and the elegant and bare concrete supports.  As is apparent in this structure, Kahn typically tended toward heavily textured brick and bare concrete, which he wonderfully juxtaposes against more refined and pristine surfaces, like the exterior that took over the Miesian glass and steel ; giving new irregularity and softness while the side walls and interior were evocative of Wright.
  15. 15.  The hollow concrete tetrahedral space-frame allows for the omission of ductwork while also reducing the standard requirements regarding floor-to-floor height. His interest in pushing the boundaries with technology led him to design this waffle-slab that served as the floor of one room and just as functionally became the ceiling of another.  The front door is found in a recessed corner that is defined by an absent rectangle following the pattern of the glass fenestration. Kahn invoked a Miesian vision of glass with the recessed wall, reflected on the opaque white curtains behind the fenestration. He dematerialised the wall through which we enter.
  16. 16.  Sketch by Louis Kahn of the Palazzo Vecchio, No.2, Florence, Italy 1950, drawn just before he designed the Yale Art Gallery.
  17. 17.  The door leads to a series of open loft spaces on the first floor, which flow horizontally until the space is broken by core circulation elements, including the main stair, elevator and mechanical core.  The stair was contained in a cylindrical volume and rose through a series of triangular change in direction, hinting on the distinction of function and circulation. This building is also known for the structural innovations.
  18. 18.  At the rear garden terrace, the continuous paving courses parallel to the rear fenestration denote this shift. The virtual shift of the upper terrace uncovers the ground, allowing us to ascend from the lower terrace via the double run of exterior stairs.  The commission brought about Kahn’s discovery of structure, materials, and perhaps most important, the power of the forms he was capable of creating.  The Yale Art Centre served to catalyze many of his basic ideas and beliefs about architecture.
  19. 19. SALK INSTITUTE (1959-1965)  The Salk Institute was conceived in 1960. Jonas Salk, who founded the polio vaccine, approached Louis I. Kahn to be the architect for a biomedical research institute.  Salk’s humanitarian vision “that medical research does not belong entirely to medicine or the physical science. It belongs to population,” intrigued Kahn to believe his client could understand his architectural envisions and endeavours. The Salk Institute began as a collaborative vision shared between the architect and the client.  The three main clusters were planned that expresses the form of the Salk Institute – the laboratory, the meeting place [the meeting house], and, the living place [the village].
  20. 20.  There are three phases in the design development of the Salk Institute, which from the very beginning have included the ‘activities’ of laboratory, meeting place, and residence. The three phases are evident of three different configurations of these activities.
  21. 21. First phase:  Laboratories were clustered in four towers with its services and utilities separated at its proximity.  Residences were clustered inwardly focusing on courtyards.  A rectilinear meeting complex of lecture halls and auditorium were joined linearly by an ambulatory. Second phase:  Four, “two-storey laboratory blocks were arranged around a pair of garden courts, with a central alley for service and air intake to the two central blocks.”  Residences were arranged as sixteen pavilions along the contours of the ridge. Meeting Place clustered in a rather centralized manner. Final phase:  Two six-story laboratory blocks with five ‘porticos of studies’ facing a central plaza were implemented.  Residences remained arranged by contour of the ridge with “seven different types of two-storey buildings equipped with ample porches and balconies lined both sides of a narrow pedestrian street.”  Meeting Place was still centrally arranged, but “the square theatre of the earlier plan has been replaced by a classical, fan-shaped proscenium… which introduces visitors to the complex.”
  22. 22.  These defined activities of inflexible program tend to concentrate around a flexible program of an open ‘court­yard’ space in Kahn’s design to allow for ‘breathing.’ Kahn has reflected such Islamic architecture representations into the Salk Institute, following Luis Barragán,s advice to discard the idea of a garden and leave the courtyard to be a plaza, creating ‘a facade to the sky, which the cosmos is brought into the courtyard that acts as the infinite void to represent forever. As suggested by Wiseman, Kahn spent time at India and Pakistan during the development of Salk Institute, most probably “had seen examples of Mughal gardens that employed water elements may have been the source for the channel and the fountain at the institute.”
  23. 23. THE PYRAMID, OBELISK, AND SALK INSTITUTE  The body in red, attempts to reach the divine by verticality in the pyramid and obelisk; whereas the body at Salk Institute reaches the divine directly in sigh horizontally  THE BODY The body marries the sky (divine) and the earth at the horizon, while the study block on either side frames the direction towards the sky. The Salk Institute manages allow you to focus on the horizon when you are on the courtyard.
  25. 25. PLANS
  28. 28. MATERIAL  In determining the mix to be used, which is the major material for the laboratory complex, Kahn researched the components used in roman pozzolana, in order to achieve similar reddish hue.  Concrete was chosen as the material for the exterior facade of the towers, the Living and Meeting places, and slate was chosen for the courtyard to further emphasize the simplicity of the design. Later, the material was eliminated because of cost and replaced with travertine, which has similar symbolic connections. The travertine has not lasted as long as slate may have over time because of its relative softness.
  29. 29.  Kahn also decided to accentuate the joints between the panels instead of hiding them by chamfering the edges to produce a V-shaped groove at these points along the wall surface The conical holes left by the form ties were also not patched, so their spacing were carefully placed, and they were filled by a lead plug, hammered tightly to prevent corrosion of the steel ties.
  30. 30.  The need for mechanical services (air ducts, pipes, etc.) was so extensive that Kahn decided to create a separate service floor for them above each laboratory floor to make it easier to reconfigure individual laboratories in the future without disrupting neighbouring spaces.  He also designed each laboratory floor to be entirely free of internal support columns, making laboratory configuration easier.  Komendant engineered the Vierendeel trusses that make this arrangement possible. These pre-stressed concrete trusses are about 62 feet (19 m) long, spanning the full width of each floor and extending from the bottom of each service floor to the top. They are supported by steel cables embedded in the concrete in a curve.
  31. 31. NATIONAL ASSEMBLY,DHAKA (1962-1974)  Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban (National Assembly Building) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is perhaps the most important building designed by Kahn. Kahn got the design contract with the help of Muzharul Islam, his student at Yale University, who worked with him on the project. It is the centrepiece of the national capital complex designed by Kahn that includes hostels, dining halls, and a hospital.
  32. 32. Louis Kahn’s National Assembly Building of Bangladesh in Dhaka is an extraordinary example of modern architecture being transcribed as a part of Bengali vernacular architecture.
  33. 33.  In August 1963, Kahn received a telegram from the Pakistani department of public works asking him if he was interested in a commission to build the new National Assembly building in Dhaka, East Pakistan. Kahn accepted the commission. He was given a tour of the thousand-acre site of open farmland and was also given the design program from the Pakistani government.  The project was designed in two phases. The first phase included the National Assembly Building, a prayer hall, and dormitories. With the expectation that eight hundred more acres would be acquired, the complete master plan included courtrooms, a hospital, a museum, schools, and low- and highincome residential areas.
  34. 34.  With this project, Kahn first focused on the National Assembly Building itself, which was to include a twohundred-seat chamber for the legislature to convene in, a prayer hall, a dining hall, and numerous offices. He started his design process with rough sketches of a large square structure with four corner towers. Then he went on to make rough sketches of the entire site, including secondary structures, such as dormitories and hostels, to the east and west of the National Assembly Building.  After he finalized his concept for the National Assembly Building, Kahn reconsidered the Prayer Hall. Originally, this space was not to be significant in size or scale. But the more Kahn thought about the nature of the space (designated for prayer and reflection), the more strongly he felt that it should be a significant part of the design. Kahn decided that the Prayer Hall should serve as the main entrance for the National Assembly Building
  35. 35. PLAN  The National Assembly Building sits as a massive entity in the Bengali desert; there are eight halls that are concentrically aligned around the parliamentary grand chamber, which is not only a metaphor for placing the new democratic government at the heart of the building.  It also is part of Kahn’s design objectives to optimize spatial configurations where the supporting programs (offices, hotels for parliamentary officials, and a restaurant) project out of the center volume.
  36. 36.  The entire complex is fabricated out of poured in place concrete with inlaid white marble, which is not only a modernist statement of power and presence, but is more of a testament to the local materials and values.  The sheer mass of the monumentally scaled National Assembly and the artificial lake surrounding the building act as a natural insulator and cooling system that also begin to create interesting spatial and lighting conditions.
  38. 38.  The full panoply of beaux arts planning rhetorical devices- primary and secondary axes, sense of climax, variation in size and shape-was employed to reinforce the sense that this building is the head of the social order. Similarly, le Corbusier used grand axes for the parliament building in Chandigarh.
  39. 39.  The geometric shapes found on the different faces of the façade add a dramatic impact to the overall composition of the building.  The geometric shapes are abstracted forms found in traditional Bangali culture that are meant to create a marriage of old and new cultural identities, as well as, serve as light wells and a natural environmental control system for the interior.  For Kahn, light was an important aspect in the design of a building, not just as a way to illuminate a space, but rather conceptualizing light as a creator of space.
  40. 40.  Kahn and his team also considered the placement of the structures within the cardinal (directional) points. Eventually they decided to shift the Prayer Hall east, to face toward Mecca.  Kahn felt strongly that the structures he designed for this site should not just stand for the political nature of the National Assembly’s activities but also for their spiritual nature  Once the design was complete, Kahn and his team began to plan the construction phase of the project. Kahn worked with his longtime colleague August Komendant, structural engineer.
  41. 41.  Construction was held up in 1971 by war, as East Pakistan (Bangladesh) sought independence from West Pakistan. Many feared that the site would be bombed during the conflict, but enemy pilots bypassed the site, thinking it was an ancient ruin.
  42. 42. I.I.M. AHAMDABAD (1962-1974)  While Louis Kahn was designing the National Assembly Building in Bangladesh in 1962, he was approached by an admiring Indian architect, Balkrishna Doshi, to design the 60 acre campus for the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmadabad, India.
  43. 43.  At IIM Kahn created an austere set of geometrically organised buildings that form shaded courts. These courts vary in size to provide a variety of settings and experiences.  The brick wall rise unrelieved. They shed their load in great arches – segmental, relieving or full.  While monumental in a homely way, the sequential experience provides by moving through the buildings and the subsequent opening and closing of vistas give a humane scale to the complex.  Kahn’s use of brick had an impact on India as did his orchestration of a composition of open spaces and buildings.
  44. 44.  The large façade omissions are abstracted patterns found within the Indian culture that were positioned to act as light wells and a natural cooling system protecting the interior from India’s harsh desert climate.  Even though the porous, geometric façade acts as filters for sunlight and ventilation, the porosity allowed for the creation of new spaces of gathering for the students and faculty to come together.  The architect created a deep zone of transition between the outer edge and the interiors, to allow fir shaded porticoes and walkways. The colossal cylinders of baked brick and concrete had quality of roman ruins.
  45. 45.  For Kahn, the design of the institute was more than just efficient spatial planning of the classrooms; he began to question the design of the educational infrastructure where the classroom was just the first phase of learning for the students.  Kahn’s inquisitive and even critical view at the methods of the educational system influenced his design to no longer singularly focus on the classroom as the center of academic thought.
  46. 46.  He implemented the same techniques in the Indian Institute of Management as he had done in National Asebmbly, Dhaka such that he incorporated local materials (brick and concrete) and large geometrical façade extractions as homage to Indian vernacular architecture.
  47. 47. PHILIP EXETER LIBRARY (1965-1972)  The Phillips Exeter Academy Library in Exeter, New Hampshire, U.S., with 160,000 volumes on nine levels and a shelf capacity of 250,000 volumes, is the largest secondary school library in the world.
  48. 48.  The project to build a new and larger library began in 1950 and progressed slowly for several years. By the mid-1960s, O'Connor & Kilham, the architectural firm that had been chosen to design the new library and had drafted plans with traditional architecture. Richard Day arrived as the new principal of the academy at that point, and found their design to be unsatisfactory. He dismissed them, declaring his intention to hire "the very best contemporary architect in the world to design our library"
  49. 49.  The school's building committee was tasked with finding a new architect. Influential members of the committee became interested in Louis Kahn at an early stage, but they interviewed several other prominent architects as well, including Paul Rudolph, I. M. Pei, Philip Johnson and Edward Larrabee Barnes. Kahn's prospects received a boost when Jonas Salk, whose son had attended Exeter, called Armstrong and invited him to visit the Salk Institute in California, which Kahn had recently built to widespread acclaim. Kahn was awarded the commission for the library in November 1965.
  50. 50. Plan  The library has an almost cubical shape: each of its four sides is 111 feet (33 m) wide and 80 feet (24 m) tall. It is constructed in three concentric areas (Kahn called them "doughnuts")  The early designs included some items that were eventually rejected, such as a roof garden and two exterior towers with stairs that were open to the weather. They were removed from the plans when the building committee reminded Kahn that neither of those features would be practical in New England winters.
  51. 51.  Its facade is primarily brick with teak wood panels at most windows marking the location of a pair of wooden carrels. The bricks are load-bearing; that is, the weight of the outer portion of the building is carried by the bricks themselves, not by a hidden steel frame. Kahn calls this fact to the viewer's attention by making the brick piers noticeably thicker at the bottom where they have more weight to bear. The windows are correspondingly wider toward the top where the piers are thinner
  52. 52. Another arcade circles the building on the ground floor. Kahn disliked the idea of a building that was dominated by its entrance, so he concealed the main entrance to the library behind this arcade. Visitors unfamiliar with the library tend to wander around its edges before locating the two entrances, to be found on either side of a glass-walled projection into the recessed arcade that otherwise fills the first bay of the ground-floor story
  53. 53.   He felt that reading spaces should be near the books and also to natural light.  The seating was designed acoordingly
  54. 54. At the top of the atrium, two massive concrete cross beams diffuse the light entering from the clerestory windows. Carter Wiseman: While they appear to be—and indeed are—structural, they are far deeper than necessary; their no-less-important role was to diffuse the sunlight coming in from the surrounding clerestory windows and reflect it down into the atrium. Sarah Goldhagen The concrete X-shaped cross below the sky lit ceiling at the Exeter Library is grossly exaggerated for dramatic effect. Vincent Scully argues that Kahn followed this practice in several of his buildings, including this library.
  55. 55.  A circular double staircase built from concrete and faced with travertine greets the visitor upon entry into the library. At the top of the stairs the visitor enters a dramatic central hall with enormous circular openings that reveal several floors of book stacks. At the top of the atrium, two massive concrete cross beams diffuse the light entering from the clerestory windows. he felt that reading spaces should be near the books and also to natural light.
  56. 56.  David Rineheart, who worked as an architect for Kahn, said, "For Lou, every building was a temple. Salk was a temple for science. Dhaka was a temple for government. Exeter was a temple for learning. 
  57. 57. KIMBELL ART MUSEUM (1966-1972)  The Kimbell Art Museum has been admired, studied and emulated by architects and museum specialists ever since it opened 30 years ago
  58. 58. PLAN
  59. 59.  It is the unique manner in which Louis Kahn introduced natural light within the Museum. At the Kimbell, natural light enters the space through a 2½-foot slit at the apex of Kahn’s distinctive vaulted ceilings. The light strikes a suspended convex, perforatedaluminium “natural light fixture”, in the words of Kahn that prevents direct light from entering the space. As the light reflects onto the cool, curved concrete, it retains what Kahn called the “silver” quality of Texas light
  60. 60.  But then, as the light bounces off the travertine walls and oak floor, it warms up and seamlessly blends with the warm light from the incandescent lamps suspended along the outer edge of the natural light fixtures. Through this unique design, Kahn avoided many of the pitfalls inherent in a museum gallery where a primary source of illumination is natural light.  Kahn stays very close to ruins and subordinates the glass. There is a glass wall but it is hidden by trees. Inside there are roman round vaults which have been deformed to diffused the light.
  61. 61.  Komendant played a key role in designing curved concrete gallery roof shells that do not require interior support, thereby minimizing obstruction on the gallery floors.  Before Komendant's arrival on the project, Kahn had been designing the curved gallery roofs as vaults supported by a series of columns along their edges. Komendant recognized that the gallery roofs should be engineered not as true vaults but as vault-shaped beams that would require support only at their four corners.
  62. 62. RICHARDS MEDICAL LIBRARY (1957-1962)  Subtle combination of linear and particulate,which also created external harbours of space around exterior.  The geomentry, use of space and circulation suggest Kahn’s influence by Wright’s Larkin building.
  63. 63.  The structural system of pre cast concrete suggests that Kahn attempted to show the building was put together by connections and joints.  It had a direct, tactile character in the use of brick panel and concrete beams.  The principle difficulty arose due to lack of sun protection on exterior facade and a certain lack of functionability.
  64. 64. FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH  The early stage drawings were called as ‘form’ drawings by Louis I Kahn.  According to Goldhagen, the First Unitarian Church of Rochester was "the first building Kahn built that gave an indication of his mature style".  Vincent Scully, in his Modern Architecture and Other Essays, similarly says "the experience of designing the church at Rochester seems to have brought Kahn to a confident maturity and confirmed him in his method of design."
  65. 65. FISHER HOUSE
  67. 67. -W.J.CURTIS Extracts from the works of -INCENT SCULLY: LOUIS I KAHN AND THE RUINS OF ROME -ROBERT McCARTER:LOIUS I KAHN -CARTER WISEMAN: BEYOND TIME AND STYLE -KATHELEEN JAMES-CHOKRAWORTY -SARAH GOLDHAGEN -James Steele: Architecture in detail -Daid Brownlee : Louis I kahn in the realm of architecture