The Art of Light


The great misfortune of Louis Kahn’s long-thwarted but ultimately triumphant career was in his being born in 1901, a poor year for modern architecture. Too young during the first flood of modernism after World War I, Kahn was out of phase with cycles of economics and politics that largely determine when, what, how, and how much an architect builds. This leviathan was often marooned by circumstances that destroyed lesser figures, as poverty in the 1930s and war in the 1940s took their toll on his contemporaries. Therefore one of the wonders of Louis Kahn’s professional life is that this most slowly developing of modern masters was able to persevere against immense odds and to be considered – following a mature phase of barely just twenty years, from the early fifties to the early seventies – by most historians as the leading mid-century American architect...

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