Louis Kahn was an American architect born in Estonia. His major work began in the 1920's, but Kahn is well-known for his original designs that utilize brick and concrete. Many consider Kahn another master of these construction materials because of his designs.
In 1924, Kahn received a degree in architecture. From there, he began his practice as an associate contributing to major works throughout the United States. One example of his outstanding achievements is the Carver Court of Pennsylvania. The project was a housing development which he completed by 1944.
Later, in the early fifties, Kahn moved on to more mature and sophisticated style. These can be seen in his Yale Art Gallery and Richards Medical Research Laboratories (at the University of Pennsylvania). Features of the Yale Art Gallery include primarily a more spacious and flexible environment. For example, Kahn introduced the innovation of exposed air duct and lighting fixtures, that we commonly see today in very modern architecture.
Later on in his life, during the sixties and early seventies, Kahn produced major structures such as the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California in 1965 and the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas in 1972.
HIS PLACE AMONG THE REST
During Kahn's time was the emergence and development of the Bauhaus school and the International Style. Kahn, however, managed to maintain his own unique styles, which prove to be quite different from the trend on modern architecture at the time. Kahn concerned himself with beauty - contrary to the International Style and was able to successfully blend the two just as American architect Louis Sullivan blended form and function.
Incorporating beauty into function, we come to notice the definitive style of Louis Kahn. The best example is the Yale Art Gallery. Its spatial relationships enhance the total beauty of his work. With the integration of beauty, light (as a result of the spatial relations), and function, Kahn expressed a description he commonly gave to his general work: the thoughtful making of spaces. In general, Kahn's trend in architecture exhibit unequal characteristics, most importantly that interior relations are more appealing than exterior ones.
Finally, his designs in spatial beauty and the manipulation of light are shown in his last work, completed posthumously in 1977. It was another contribution to Yale University - the Center for British Art.
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