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Louis I. Kahn: Beyond Time and Style: A Life in Architecture Hardcover – March 17, 2007
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Louis I. Kahn is lavishly illustrated...and contributes the most comprehensive analysis of the architect's life and works to date. (DocoMomo, Olivia Klose)
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Top Customer Reviews
But I have to admit it's great. Wiseman's biography of one of America's greatest architects is balanced, entertaining, and packed with astute judgments. Louis Kahn had a convoluted family life (maintaining several families at once, hidden from each other), and even his professional relationships were unusual in their combination of intimacy and distance. Wiseman brings Kahn's architectural accomplishment to life in the context of this personal complexity.
The book is well illustrated and the photographs support Wiseman's discussion - Kahn's development of a new architectural language beyond International Style modernism. And Wiseman is excellent in describing the importance of Kahn's role as an educator. This book is a great introduction to a figure of towering accomplishment, and if Wiseman does not capture all the complexity of such an enigmatic figure, he is as close as anyone has come in writing.
Kahn came with his family from 1901 in Russian-controlled Estonia, moving to Philadelphia in 1906 when he was five. He quickly showed skill in drawing, and got into a public art school for talented youths, then to the University of Pennsylvania to study architecture. In 1930 he married Esther Israeli, a scholar pursuing her masters in psychology. They would remain supportively married for 44 years until his death, but he had many affairs and children by two other women by whom he had children (one of whom was the documentary filmmaker Nathaniel) and with whom he maintained a type of family life.Read more ›
Raised by poor immigrant parents in Philadelphia, Kahn showed an early talent for drawing and music. He attended the University of Pennsylvania on scholarship, and later taught at Penn and Yale. A late bloomer, he didn't achieve significant professional success until he was in his fifties. Once he hit his stride, though, he designed a dazzling series of buildings that continue to generate emotional responses from the public and accolades from other architects. In this county we have (among others) the Salk Institute in San Diego, the library at Phillips Exeter Academy and art museums in New Haven and Fort Worth. Two of Kahn's most brilliant projects are located on the Indian subcontinent: a management institute in Ahmadabad and the Parliamentary Assembly in Bangladesh.
Kahn was a complicated, charismatic man with a convoluted personal life. Loyally but unhappily married, he fathered two children out of wedlock by two women who worked in his office. He acknowledged these children, visited them occasionally, but didn't support them financially or emotionally. While he was capable of warm personal and professional relationships, his emotional empathy tended to be situational, which left those who basked in his attention feeling confused or bereft when it was withdrawn. Wiseman doesn't seem that interested in Kahn's personal complexities. You'll get a more in-depth exploration of those from My Architect, the moving documentary by Kahn's son Nathaniel.Read more ›
Just buy it, it'll give you a deeper in-depth understanding of 1 of the famous yet complicated architect!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yes, it's a great book, entertaining, insightful and easy to read. Covers Kahn's life, personal disasters, client relationships, etc. Read morePublished on December 31, 2007 by SH
This is a wonderful book of one of America's finest architects. His life and works all together. Powerful images of Kahn masterpiece's. The text is quite scholarly and informative. Read morePublished on October 9, 2007 by Pedro Fernandes