Few people in the history of art and architecture have planted a seed of inspiration that grew to become a towering oak of lasting influence. There are those, particularly colleagues and students of Louis I. Kahn, who would say that he was one of these people. Certainly Kahn was one of the foremost architects of the twentieth century, designing such famous landmarks as the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh; the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California; and the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
In this commemorative volume, Charles E. Dagit, Jr. shows the power and influence that Kahn displayed at the University of Pennsylvania department of architecture in the 1960s. Since Dagit knew Kahn personally, this is a factual history as well as a glimpse into Kahn's personal wisdom and humanity.
Beginning with a prelude that starts with the author's undergraduate years at the University of Pennsylvania, Dagit launches readers on an intellectual journey of how he first met Kahn. From there he details his experiences with Kahn and explores Kahn's interactions with Penn faculty members, including Mario Romanach, Robert LeRicolais, and Aldo Giurgola. This first-hand account sheds fascinating new light on one of the most prominent architects of the twentieth century.
Table of Contents
Foreword. Acknowledgments. Who Was Louis I. Kahn? 1 Prelude. 2 Journey. 3 Failing Falling. 4 Light Bulb. 5 I Stole. 6 Precast Concrete. 7 Wrapping Chains. 8 The Future Is the Present. 9 Tall Arches. 10 The Elephant’s Pimple. 11 The Kind Critique. 12 Silence to Light. 13 Drawing on Drawing. 14 The Golden Donkey and the Man Who Did Not Know. 15 The Cost Estimate: The Attainable, the Unattainable. 16 Beginnings. Illustration Credits. Index
Charles E. Dagit, Jr. taught at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Drexel University, where he is now a thesis advisor as well as conductor of a seminar on American Architectural History. Awarded the American Institute of Architects Pennsylvania’s Medal of Distinction, his work has been published in Progressive Architect, Interiors Magazine, and Yale Perspecta.
Nathaniel Kahn is a documentary filmmaker and the son of Louis I. Kahn. His 2002 film My Architect, in which he travels the world to better understand his long-deceased father, was an Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature. He also directed the Oscar- and Emmy-nominated 2004 documentary, Two Hands.