Rome and the Legacy of Louis I. Kahn  book cover
1st Edition

Rome and the Legacy of Louis I. Kahn

ISBN 9780367532215
Published May 14, 2020 by Routledge
228 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Louis I. Kahn was one of the most influential architects, thinkers and teachers of his time. This book examines the important relationship between his work and the city of Rome, whose ancient ruins inspired in him a new design methodology. Structured into two main parts, the first includes personal essays and contributions from the architect’s children, writers and other designers on the experience and impact of his work. The second part takes a detailed look at Kahn’s residency in Rome, its effects on his thinking, and how his influence spread throughout Italy. It analyses themes directly linked to his architecture, through interviews with teachers and designers such as Franco Purini, Paolo Portoghesi, Giorgio Ciucci, Lucio Valerio Barbera and the architects of the Rome Group of Architects and City Planners (GRAU). Rome and the Legacy of Louis I. Kahn expands the current discourse on this celebrated twentieth-century architect, ideal for students and researchers interested in Kahn’s work, architectural history, theory and criticism.

Table of Contents

Foreword Introduction Part I: Rome and Kahn 1. Rome and Kahn 2. Travel Notes 3. My Father and a Day in Rome: a conversation with Sue Ann Kahn 4. Letter from Rome: a conversation with Alexandra Tyng 5. Kahn and the Rome Legacy: a conversation with Nathaniel Kahn 6. Rome, the Place of ‘Realization’ 7. Louis Kahn arrives in Italy 8. Memories and Reflection Part II: Kahn and Rome 9. Sun and Shadow 10. Rome Before Kahn 11. Kahn’s Legacy 12. The Revolution of Memory 13. A Conversation with Franco Purini 14. The Presence of the Past: a conversation with Paolo Portoghesi 15. The GRAU and Louis Kahn: five conversations Afterword

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Elisabetta Barizza, architect, PhD, teacher of history of art and design. After working as an architect in Italy and abroad, she specialised in teaching. She is currently engaged as curator and writer in various activities connected to her research work carried out at Rome Sapienza University. In 2017, she published the book La forma tangibile. La nozione di organismo nell’opera di Louis I. Kahn dalla svolta di Roma al progetto di Venezia, and in 2014 (with Marco Falsetti) Roma e l’eredità di Louis I. Kahn.

Marco Falsetti, architect and PhD, is Adjunct Professor at the Sapienza University of Rome. His researches focus on the unresolved fragments of the modern city and the role of the ‘classic’ in the formation of contemporary design. Since 2012 he has been the head of his own architecture firm in Rome; his projects and drawings have been exhibited in many Academic Institutions such as the Istituto Nazionale della Grafica, the Faculty of Architecture of Rome, the Polytechnic University of Milan and the Polytechnic University of Bari, Italy. He publishes regular essays and articles in national and international magazines on the topic of architecture in identity-creating contexts. In 2014 he published (with Elisabetta Barizza) Roma e l’eredità di Louis I. Kahn. In 2017, he published the book Annodamenti. La specializzazione dei tessuti urbani nel processo formativo e nel progetto (Knottings: the specialization of urban fabric in the formative process and in architectural design) on the role of paths and routes in the formation of public space. Annodamenti was a finalist at the National Scientific Dissemination Award 2017, held by the National Research Council (CNR).


"Although Louis I. Kahn’s impact upon architectural debate and production in the United States of America is the object of exhaustive studies, much less is known about his direct and indirect contributions within the Italian context. This useful book gathers contributions by a number of different generations of Italian architects and educators who analyze and provide testimonials about this complex (and sometimes controversial) twentieth-century architect."

Michelangelo Sabatino, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA


"Rome and the Legacy of Louis I. Kahn is a book that offers important insights into the American master architect’s close relationship with Rome and reopens the debate on the influence of his work on Italian architectural schools. It is a book that is more than welcome, since, in order to understand Louis Kahn, one must also take Italy into account."

Mario Botta, architect, Switzerland


"Beyond the analysis of Rome's influence on Louis Kahn, Barizza's and Falsetti's powerful melange of testimonies, interviews, and reflections opens an illuminating window into the complex and contested Italian architectural culture of the 1950-1960s."

Jean-François Lejeune, University of Miami School of Architecture, USA