Kahn's Sketch of the Esherick House in Chestnut Hill. Courtesy of Louis I. Kahn Collection, University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
WHEN: February 20-May 23, 2014
WHERE: Kroiz Gallery, Architectural Archives, PennDesign
220 S. 34th Street
HOURS: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm. Weekends by special appointment.
Each year the University of Pennsylvania’s Architectural Archives hosts Kahn Day to honor the former Penn professor and world-renowned architect, Louis Kahn, known for his pioneering work in modernism and “new Brutalist” architecture. Kahn is well known for projects including the Yale University Art Gallery, the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California and the National Assembly Building in Bangladesh. But his significant residential work, most of which is concentrated in a 30 miles radius of the Philadelphia, is less famous.
From February 20 to May 23, the Brought to Light: The Houses of Louis Kahn exhibit at the Harvey and Irwin Kroiz Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania’s Architectural Archives will focus on Kahn’s houses, mainly the nine houses that were built. This first ever exhibit of Kahn’s residential work will feature models, drawings, and new and old photographs of his built houses.
The exhibit will not only display the design of Kahn’s houses, but will also bring to light the relationships Kahn fostered with his clients. Architectural Archivist, Bill Whittaker, sees Kahn Day as an opportunity “to engage with a remarkable figure who we can still learn from.”
Brought to Light opens on Kahn’s 113th birthday, February 20, with a panel discussion on Kahn’s residential design and his clients at 4pm in Meyerson Hall (210 South 34th Street) and a gallery reception from 5:30-7pm. Both events are free and you can register in advance online.
Lee Riccetti is an intern with PlanPhilly in her second year at PennDesign in the Master of Science in Historic Preservation program. Originally from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, she moved to Pittsburgh in 2008 and received her BA in Urban Studies and Architectural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012--so she is truly a "Pennsylvania girl." Her interest in the intersection of preservation, economic development, and sustainability and their overall implications for urban revitalization, has led to work with community development corporations, non-profits, and in the public sector centered on urban redevelopment.