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Prown, Jules David
On Center : The late architectural philosophy of Louis I. Kahn as expressed in the Yale Center for British Art / Jules David Prown.
New Haven : Yale Center for British Art : Yale University Press, [2020]
Physical Description:
42 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Reference Library
NJ18.K13 P76 2020 (LC)
Accessible in the Reference Library [Hours]
Note: Please contact the Reference Library to schedule an appointment [Email ycba.reference@yale.edu]

Includes bibliographical references.
"The fundamentals of Kahn's architectural philosophy begin with his personal history: his inherent talent; his family background and childhood experiences; his education, from elementary school through architectural school; the influences of Paul Philippe Cret and Beaux Arts architecture; and his travels, especially those to study the antique monuments of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Because the causal aspects of these experiences were absorbed by him, rather than being the products of Kahn's own thinking, he rarely acknowledged them. His conclusions led to a philosophy that echoed some of the thoughts of earlier philosophers, like Spinoza and Heidegger, but were arrived at independently.1 Kahn expressed his philosophy in lectures, seminars, writings, interviews, conversation, and often through sketches. However, he habitually expressed himself elliptically-his phrasing poetic, his metaphors original and apt. Therefore, his meaning was often felt rather than understood. Extensive studies of Louis Kahn's architecture exist, but few focus on his fully developed architectural philosophy.2 This text addresses that subject, incorporating his own words (in italics) and relating them where relevant to his final work, the Yale Center of British Art (hereafter, "the Center"). Kahn died during the construction of the building, the last material expression of his architectural philosophy. I was the first director of the Center, a participant in the selection of the architect and throughout the building's planning and creation. Coincidental with the early years of Kahn's planning for the Center, two young architectural historians-John Cook and Heinrich Klotz-interviewed several leading architects, including Kahn. Working with a verbatim transcript of the Kahn interviews, made by Karen Denavit, I produced an edited version of the interviews in book format. Louis I. Kahn in Conversation: Interviews with John W. Cook and Heinrich Klotz (hereafter, "Kahn in Conversation") is the source for many of the Kahn quotations included here. A researcher can consult the full, verbatim transcript of the interviews in the Center's Institutional Archives, in the Manuscripts and Archives collections in Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University, and in the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania"-- Provided by publisher.
Subject Terms:
Architecture, Modern -- 20th century -- Philosophy.
Architecture, Modern -- Philosophy.
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974 -- Aesthetics.
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974.
Yale Center for British Art.
Yale Center for British Art.
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974.