The power of Louis Kahn’s architecture

Architect Louis Kahn, The Power of Architecture, Fabric Workshop and Museum, architectural exhibition, architectural modernism, Kahn retrospective, review and commentary, © 2017 Janet Giampietro

The great modernist architect Louis Kahn is the subject of a major retrospective, Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. Make the trip because it’s the last stop for the exhibition which began in the Netherlands and ends in Philly on 5 november. It’s also unmissable.

All of Kahn’s important works are well-represented including the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas; Phillips Exeter Academy Library and Dining Hall in Exeter, New Hampshire; and the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. But the scope of the large exhibition includes Kahn’s early personal items, original drawings and watercolors, photographs, reference materials, architectural models and films. From his early urban concepts and single-family houses in Philadelphia – in collaboration with urban planner Edmund Bacon – to laudatory interviews from fellow architects Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano and others, the exhibition comprehensively presents the ideologies that Kahn developed and infused into his work over many decades.

Architect Louis Kahn, The Power of Architecture, Fabric Workshop and Museum, architectural exhibition, architectural modernism, Kahn retrospective, review and commentary, © 2017 Janet Giampietro

Architect Louis Kahn, The Power of Architecture, Fabric Workshop and Museum, architectural exhibition, architectural modernism, Kahn retrospective, review and commentary, © 2017 Janet Giampietro

Architect Louis Kahn, The Power of Architecture, Fabric Workshop and Museum, architectural exhibition, architectural modernism, Kahn retrospective, review and commentary, © 2017 Janet Giampietro

Architect Louis Kahn, The Power of Architecture, Fabric Workshop and Museum, architectural exhibition, architectural modernism, Kahn retrospective, review and commentary, © 2017 Janet Giampietro

Not only does the exhibition display Kahn’s masterworks, but It presents the architect’s roots, his thought processes and his ideas, so the connection from concept to execution is laid out for the viewer.

Louis Kahn’s mastery of light, which he described as “giver of all presences,” and complex spatial compositions created buildings of archaic beauty – echoing his love and extensive study of Greek architecture. That unique combination of modernism and ancient forms make Kahn’s work deeply symbolic and rich for discovery and exploration.

Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, ends 5 november 2017. Terrific!

Architect Louis Kahn, The Power of Architecture, Fabric Workshop and Museum, architectural exhibition, architectural modernism, Kahn retrospective, review and commentary, © 2017 Janet Giampietro

Architect Louis Kahn, The Power of Architecture, Fabric Workshop and Museum, architectural exhibition, architectural modernism, Kahn retrospective, review and commentary, © 2017 Janet Giampietro

Architect Louis Kahn, The Power of Architecture, Fabric Workshop and Museum, architectural exhibition, architectural modernism, Kahn retrospective, review and commentary, © 2017 Janet Giampietro

Architect Louis Kahn, The Power of Architecture, Fabric Workshop and Museum, architectural exhibition, architectural modernism, Kahn retrospective, review and commentary, © 2017 Janet Giampietro

Photos: © 2017 Janet Giampietro

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One Response to “The power of Louis Kahn’s architecture”

  1. Lg Says:

    Unmissable is right. An extraordinary exhibit which includes material from Kahn’s high school days, his travels, through to his many professional personas. Amazing film footage including dialogue with Edmund Bacon. A must-visit for Philadelphians to see how the city developed, architecture students (regardless of feelings about Kahn’s work), and the curious. Don’t miss this one.

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