Happy 113th Birthday Louis Kahn!

Photo © Robert C. Lautman Photography Collection, National Building Museum)

Photo © Robert C. Lautman Photography Collection, National Building Museum)

“A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.”

Louis Kahn, the American architect known for combining with the weight and dignity of ancient monuments, was born 113 years ago this week.

Born: 20th February, 1901 in Kuressaare, in Estonia, on Saaremmaa Island
Died: 17th March, 1974 in New York, N.Y.
Name at Birth: Born Itze-Leib (or, Leiser-Itze) Schmuilowsky (or, Schmalowski). Kahn’s Jewish parents immigrated to the United States in 1906. His name was changed to Louis Isadore Kahn in 1915.

Early Training:
  • University of Pennsylvania, Bachelor of Architecture, 1924
  • Worked as a senior draughtsman in the office of Philadelphia City Architect John Molitor.

Important Buildings by Louis I. Kahn:

Posthumous Work:

Major Awards:

  • 1971: AIA Gold Medal. Elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • 1972: RIBA Gold Medal in 1972.

by Mia Pujol, ESARQ_UIC Publications

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