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Louis Kahn: Essential Texts Paperback – October 17, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0393731132 ISBN-10: 0393731138

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (October 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393731138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393731132
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Twombly teaches at the Spitzer School of Architecture, The City College, New York City. He lives in West Nyack, New York.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paper Dreamer on April 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was required to purchase this book for a class on Louis Kahn, and have found it to be an indespensible source of inspiration in everything that I do. I took the class as an art history major who has an intense fascination with architecture, and a love of all things Kahn. The book is a serries of lectures and conversations between Kahn and his students. Some of the questions posed are questions that as creators we all face, and Kahn's answers which may not always offer a perfect solution, make the reader aware that the questions we cannot answer are the source of passion in design. Kahn has an amazing ability to enliven the art of architecture. Because of several events in my life I have chosen the path of design for my future, and one day that road should include architecture. I keep this book close at hand, for days I feel overwhelmed. Kahn's simple words sooth the soul and sometimes make a heart skip a beat.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joong Won Lee on March 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
When one reads Kahn, one finds a hope. This hope is a hope that promises
growth. His last and best philosophical claims, "Silence" and "Light"
invites reader to the "unmeasurable" dimension. It's the dimension of
vertical sublimity and archaic gravity that he saw during his travels in
Egypt and residency in Rome.

Reader is surprised by the fact that Kahn composed Kimbell and Dakka
by poetry long before actual buildings were built. His individual rooms
form a community ,,, his material reveals the story of construction ,,,
his light brings life to every corner of the building.

Just like the image on the cover page, Kahn was capable of drawing a palm
tree with both hands. His left brain enlarges his right brain, and vice versa.
Ambidexterity proves his unusual combination of imagination and calculation
that exponentially bring about immense "A"-rchitectural experience.

Steven Holl used to say that he wanted to work for Kahn right after
schooling because he was the only architect (except one landscape
architect) who has a thought. In Holl's words, "Kahn had an idea
that brought about phenomena."

I sometimes wonder what makes me come back to Kahn. For long, I thought
I was under the spell of Vincent Scully. Then, I thought Exeter/ British
Art Gallery/ Kimbell mesmerized me. Few years ago, I was thrilled to
see Kent Larson's unbuilt projects' renderings. Recenltly,
Nathaniel's "My Architect" shocked me.

Reading this book, now I know why I stick to Kahn.
It's his words. Words that can only be spoken by a person who dares
to pick up burning charcoal. Words that can only be charged by a
person who lives solely on proselytizing architecture.
I hope Kahn's powerful words wet your thirst and silence your
worries as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chinmay Satbhai on January 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
A really good and essential reading on Louis Kahn.
The book is a collection of wonderful essays, speeches delivered by one of the great practitioner of modern architecture.
These texts are truly inspirational.
An addition of few more illustrations would have made this compilation more profound.

Thanks a lot for this collection.
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By ISRAEL182 on December 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The only master of architectural thinking. Merging philosophy with design , his discourse was not only clear, it goes farther, his discourse will be relevant in order to understand what he did. What he said it what he build. Builded discourse.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You don't have to be a fan of Kahn's work or style to get something from this. If you are like me, you read essays or theory books to help your understanding of architecture, or to help further enhance your design process. This book will help with both.

The text is a collection of essays from different periods of Kahn's life. Each essay is different, but many have repeating information (thoughts). This can make the read a bit boring at times, but I attest that it helps Kahn's ideas sink in if you let them. He talks about "Existence - Will" a lot. I found this to be particuallary good info.
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