Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture
September 17, 2012
Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedom Park. Image via www.facebook.com/fdrfourfreedomspark
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedom Park in New York City is finally approaching completion, with the official opening scheduled for October 24. The latest photographs convey the unmistakable mastery of space demonstrated by the architect Louis Kahn, who designed the park right before his sudden death at 73. Kahn’s only project in New York City, the park embodies the architect’s reverence for President Roosevelt, with whom he shared the desire to enrich the lives of all people.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Kahn’s belief in the social role of architecture is the subject of a new exhibition running September 8, 2012, to January 6, 2013. Suggestively titled “The Power of Architecture,” it is staged at the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) in Rotterdam. Read more.
The first retrospective of the American master’s work since 1969, the exhibition is organized into six major themes, showing the vast diversity of Kahn’s projects. Through architectural models, drawings, photographs, plans of 40 of his projects, and information about the influences in his work, alongside videos and publications written on or by him, the curators strive to reveal the stories behind his buildings. Visitors can expect to be surprised by themes that are not usually associated with Kahn’s work, including biophysics and engineering, as well as visions for the city of Philadelphia.
Exhibition ‘Louis Kahn – The Power of Architecture’ in the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam. Model of the City Tower Project. Image © Carel van Hees
Government Building Dhaka, Bangladesh (1962-1986). Image © Raymond Meier
Sponsored by Swarovski, the show is curated by the NAI, the Vitra Design Museum, and the University of Pennsylvania (Kahn’s alma matter). “A song of praise to the beauty, strength and consolation that good architecture can offer,” the exhibition reminds the public how important architecture can be for society, in a time when many think the future of the profession should be re-envisioned.
Louis Kahn’s iconic sketch of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. Image © Louis I. Kahn Collection, University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Louis Kahn in Dacca. Image via domusweb.it
Salk Institute, La Jolla, California, 1959-1966. Architecture by Louis Kahn. Image © Christopher Malheiros