Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Louis Kahn

When I was a student at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1960's, Louis Kahn was a god.  He was a professor of architecture in the School of Design.  His classes were attended only by gods-in-training.  To us simple undergraduates, those who studied with him were destined to see the world in multi-dimensional harmony that the rest of us could not understand.  They took notes in lovely blocky letters illustrated with quick (perfect) drawings.  Valhalla for these creatures was the Furness Library.  The library itself is a Gothic marvel, both fascinating and intimidating to those not called to design.  To enter and study in the cavernous core was to tempt fate.  Kahn has been dead almost 40 years.  Last year his final accomplishment was completed.  On Roosevelt Island, the thin strip of land lying in the East River between Manhatten and Queens, now sits Kahn's visionary Four Freedoms Park, his memorial to Franklin Roosevelt.  In case you have missed notice of this spectacular achievement, visit the website and feast your eyes.  And when you have been seduced by the granite slabs, the little leaf linden trees and the massive steps, then you will want to know more about Louis Kahn.  Watch the video below to hear him talk to a brick. 

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