Month: August 2015

Louis I Kahn: Silence and Light

Louis I. Kahn is unarguably one of the most prominent and important figures of 20th-century architecture. He is known as the poet and philosopher amongst the great modern architects. On 12 February 1969, Kahn gave a lecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), entitled ‘‘Silence and Light’‘. This fundamental text reveals Kahn’s spiritual understanding of architecture and his creative thinking. Kahn’s idea of architecture goes far beyond the mere building. He understands architecture as a concept comprising the entire environment of mankind. With this he anticipated more than forty years ago what is branded ‘sustainability in architecture’ today. ‘Louis I. Kahn – Silence and Light’ makes this text accessible again in its primary version, for the first time ever also in Kahn’s own voice on audio-CD. The book includes a full-length reproduction of the Zurich lecture in original English and translations into French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Kahn’s illustrations drawn while speaking and the number of previously unpublished images of the architect lecturing complement the text. Text are provided in English, …

Architecture Visionaries

The book Architecture Visionaries revolves around biography and projects fo 75 noted architects of 20th century. The biographies start with Antonio Gaudi and ends with Shigeru Ban. Arranged in a broadly chronological order, the book gives the reader a sense of the impact that creative individuals have had on the advancement of architecture and our built environment. Important dates in the architects’ careers are established in timeline features, allowing the author liberty to move beyond well-known biographies to analyze the buildings and map out the astonishing insights behind them. With insightful passage describing thoughtfully selected sample, this is a compelling and unique lead to the architects whose idea have created the buildings around us. A very valuable addition to every architecture buff’s library. Image Courtesy: © Laurence King Publishing Ltd

A History of Western Architecture

Properly covering the history of architecture in any single volume is a big challenge, but David Watkin successfully covers thousands of years with about 700 pages in his book, A History of Western Architecture. The book begins the journey with early Mesopotamian Temples from 3600BC and then travels through all the major architectural movements, including Classical, Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Modernism, and the rest of the 20th Century. As the title suggests, the book focuses on the western part of the world – Europe, Scandinavia, and North America are the main focus of the text. The book provides a very good history of architecture and combines easy to understand prose with excellent images of the structures. The fifth edition of the book covers all relevant western architecture up to the mid-2000s. The work from the 2000s is fairly thin, but this is understandable given that these buildings are too new for their relevance in history to be fully understood. The pages are full of high-quality images of the buildings being discussed. Almost every page has …

Elements of Venice by Giulia Foscari

Elements of Venice is an extraordinarily well-researched and presented research effort, led a written by a key member of the Venice Biennale team, architect Giulia Foscari, a daughter of Venice with impeccable credentials and profound insights into the nature and history of the great, enigmatic City of Venice. This work will be intriguing for those just beginning to dip their toes into the lagoon of Venice’s cultural and architectural history. It is also a boon for those now fully immersed into the deep historical waters of La Serenissima. “Developed as a research project parallel to FUNDAMENTALS – the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by Rem Koolhaas – this book introduces a radically new way of seeing Venice. With examinations of twelve different architectural elements, the guide allows readers to better understand the fundamental transformations that have shaped Venice over the past ten centuries.” This Biennale opened at the end of June 2014, with this book printed in June as well. The Foreword by Rem Koolhaas states that the presented research “…presents micronarratives revealed by focusing …

Le Corbusier: Acrobat of Architecture – B. V. Doshi

Today, we mark the 50 years since Le Corbusier died while swimming towards the Sun! It’s amazing how one man changes the world with his art, architecture and powerful idea. He is possibly the greatest architect of all times and expanded the notion of want it actually is to be an architect – a poet and a harmonizer who showed the way to the Modern Age of solidarity. The following is an interview from Vistāra – The Architecture of India, Catalogue of the Exhibition, edited by Carmen Kagal, 204-214. The Festival of India, 1986. Doshi, Balkrishna. “Le Corbusier: Acrobat of Architecture – B. V. Doshi interviewed by Carmen Kagal.” A youthful Doshi (in black coat) on site with Le Corbusier. Q. So much has been written about Le Corbusier that I think we can dispense with the basics. We know, of course, that he was a many-sided man – architect, painter, sculptor, poet, author – or rather polemicist. However, if you had to choose the one outstanding quality of his personality, what would it be? A. …

Contemporary architecture and ancient suggestions, the Louis Kahn’s Hurva Synagogue project

The Video proposed here consists in the reconstruction of the Louis I. Kahn’s first proposal for Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem (the project was developed between 1968 and 1974). Kahn was used to incorporate elements of the ruins into most of his architecture, in 1967 he received a commission to replace the destroyed synagogue called Hurva, which name can be translated from the Hebrew -marvelous coincidence- in the word “ruin”. For Kahn, this project presented an extraordinary opportunity to express his most deeply felt ideas about architecture. It was his chance to build the great Jewish monument at the religious center of the new Jewish state, in the region where the three major Western religions were born. As the world’s leading Jewish architect, Kahn was conscious of the huge responsibility of this commission. In this project it is possible to find the elements that characterize Kahn’s architecture: a configuration of space as discrete volumes, complex ambient light and shadow, a celebration of mass and structure, the use of materials with both modernist and archaic qualities. Kahn …