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Kahn (Taschen Basic Art Series) [Paperback]

Joseph Rosa , Peter Gossel

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Book Description

30 Jun 2006 Taschen Basic Art Series
Though Louis Isidore Kahn (1901-1974) started his career late in his life, the few projects he was able to undertake were realized to perfection. With the Jonas Salk Institute in La Jolla, California (1959-1965) Kahn created a workspace with superb functional and aesthetic qualities; the institute's Minimalist elements radiate a sense of eternal beauty. The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth (1966-1972) occupies the somewhat faceless city like an island of spiritual space, an effect that is achieved by simplicity in design and materials. Also, the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad (1962-1974) and the Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, National Assembly of Bangladesh in Dhaka that was finished after his death are buildings of monumental importance, demonstrating the vision of a talented and very unusual man. This book brings together 17 Kahn projects, ranging from private housing to commercial architecture, religious buildings, exhibition spaces, and government buildings.

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About the Author

Joseph Rosa is the John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design at The Art Institute of Chicago. He is the author of numerous publications and has taught at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI_ARC), the California College of the Arts, The College of Environmental Design at the University of California in Berkeley, and the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Low Price Ticket to an Architect's Life Work 26 Sep 2006
By Marco Antonio Abarca - Published on
Although I am a fan of Modern Architecture, I have never really understood why Louis Kahn was one of the great architects of the Twentieth Century. His buildings have never really appealed to me. They stike me as very dense and way too serious. Kahn's embrace of "monumentality", strikes me as antithetical to Modernist thought.

I purchased "Louis Kahn: 1901-1974" because at $9.99 this book is a low risk investment. It is published by the German Publishing Company, Taschen. This imprint produce some of the finest books currently being published about architecture. Typical of the Basic Architecture Series, the book is very well written and includes beautiful photos of the architect's best buildings. It is hard to believe that such an attractive book sells at such a reasonable price.

I am still not a fan of Kahn's buildings but I now have a better understanding of why he is considered one of the most important architects of the Twentieth Century. This book is a good purchase for anyone trying to understand the forces that shaped the practice of architecture during the past fifty years. A good value and highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I second that: a bargain price to enjoy Kahn's architecture. 3 Nov 2009
By J. S. Hernandez - Published on
This book has very good textual descriptions. It is one of the best books in the series. It's an introduction, but it works pretty well, with comprhensive text and many color pictures to enjoy. It has approximately 57 color pictures versus 23 B&W ones, excluding floorplans and other presntation work, and the photos of the architect. You get to understand Kahn from this book; it's effectively concise. It presents, first, an introduction about his work, explaining some parts of his life and his main ideas. Then the selected works, each one with photographs and brief descriptions. In the end, a timeline-format biography is given. Very good book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exellent Series 10 Jan 2007
By B. G. Rae - Published on
Full marks to TASCHEN for the BASIC ARCHITECTURE series. The small format, clear text/layout/photography make them visually pleasing and well worth revisiting often. I am buying one each month.
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