Louis I. Kahn in Conversation: Interviews with John W. Cook and Heinrich Klotz, 1969-70

Louis I. Kahn in Conversation: Interviews with John W. Cook and Heinrich Klotz, 1969-70

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Overview


In 1969 and 1970, Louis I. Kahn (1901–1974)—one of America’s greatest 20th-century architects—participated in a series of interviews with a young German architectural historian, Heinrich Klotz, then a visiting professor at Yale University, and John W. Cook, who was teaching architecture at the Yale Divinity School. Louis I. Kahn in Conversation provides the first full edited transcript of these candid, illuminating interviews, which provide remarkable insights into Kahn’s philosophy of architecture. The conversations touch on many of his iconic works, including the unbuilt City Tower Project for Philadelphia, the Yale University Art Gallery, the First Unitarian Church in Rochester, and major international projects then under construction, as well as the Yale Center for British Art, Kahn’s final building, on which he was beginning work at the time. Illustrated with dozens of plans, drawings, and photographs, the book also features an introduction by Jules David Prown, the first director of the Yale Center for British Art, who recommended Kahn as its architect.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300208146
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 05/19/2015
Series: Yale Center for British Art
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 7.70(w) x 10.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author


Jules David Prown is the Paul Mellon Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at Yale University. Karen E. Denavit is information analyst at the Yale Center for British Art.

Table of Contents

Foreword 7

Acknowledgments 9

Introduction 11

Interviews 23

July 15, 1969

Tape I, side 1: City Tower Project, Philadelphia 23

Human needs

Learning from nature

Order

Truth

Wind

Tape I, side 2: Landscaping 28

Monumentality

Yale University Art Gallery

The street

November 6, 1969

Tape 3, side 1: "What is has always been" 33

Presence

Desire

The need to express

Understanding the other man

Commonness

"A space evokes its use"

Dhaka

Concepts of design

"Design makes the shape"

Realization of the nature of things

December 7, 1969

Tape 4, side 1: The leader 49

Institutions

Schools of talent

Commonness

Silence and light

Tape 4, side 2: First Unitarian Church, Rochester 65

The client

Order

Leadership and commonness

Design makes rules to use the laws of nature to create presence

City Tower Project and Kansas City Office Building

Building nonconsciously from nature through desire

Tape 5, side I: Visionary architecture 83

Boullée

Ledoux

Lequeu

Utopian architecture

Paul Rudolph

The client

Kansas City Office Building

Gravity

Influence

Brickwork

Order

Architecture

Urban design

Venice

Concrete

Dhaka

Tape 5, side 1: Dhaka 106

Monsoons

Hospital

Assembly Building

Hostels

Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla

Landscaping

Order

Mosque (Dhaka)

Ornament

Kline Biology Tower, New Haven

Palazzo dei Congressi, Venice

April 4, 1970

Tape 6, Side 1: Yale Center for British Art (Mellon Center) 127

Shops

The street

Library

Englishness

The room

Orientation

Palazzo dei Congressi

Tape 6, Side 2: Room 151

Space

Communal living

April 5, 1970

Tape 7, Side 1: Function 166

Form

Eleanor Donnelley Erdman Hall, Bryn Mawr

Yale Center for British Art (Mellon Center) rare books

Monumentality

Street

Light

Slate exterior

Anne Tyng

Geometry

Ordinariness

Tape 7, Side 2: Beautifully ordinary 188

Exhaust ducts

Lasting quality

Richards Medical Research Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Beautiful space

Unchanging space

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven

Rooms/space

Light

Jewish Community Center, Trenton

Bath House

Hollow columns

Understanding

Beauty/truth

Circumstances

Tape 8, Side 1: Philadelphia traffic studies 209

Stopping

The heart of the city

Pedestrians

Preservation

Scale

Developers

The street as building

One leader

Order

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

Heat/light

Porches

Tape 8, Side 2: Ahmedabad 228

Buttresses

Sun

Cooling

Water

Brick construction

Glare

Openings

Tape 9, Side 1: Jewish Community Center Bath House 255

First major discovery

Finding universal applicability

Architecture of connection

Giving consciousness to rooms

Hollow columns

Notes 264

Appendix: Figures by Location 266

Index 275

Photography Credits 285

About the Editors 287

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