The story of master architect Louis Kahn (1901-1974) is intrinsically connected to Philadelphia, where he spent most of his life and career. Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture is the first major retrospective of Kahn’s work in two decades, encompassing over 200 objects related to Kahn’s buildings and projects in the form of architectural models, plans, original drawings, photographs, and films. With complex spatial compositions and a choreographic mastery of light, Kahn created buildings of archaic beauty and powerful universal symbolism. The Fabric Workshop and Museum is proud to be the final venue of the international tour.
The Power of Architecture extensively documents all of Kahn’s important projects—from his early urban planning concepts and single-family houses to monumental late works such as the Roosevelt Memorial in New York City (1973-74), posthumously completed in October 2012. Among his most important works are the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California (1959-65), the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas (1966-72), and the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh (1962-83). The presentation of Kahn’s architectural projects is accompanied by a selection of watercolors, pastels and charcoal drawings created during his travels, which document his skill as an artist and illustrator.
Highlights from The Power of Architecture include previously unpublished footage shot by Nathanial Kahn, the son of Louis Kahn and the director of the film My Architect, as well as interviews with architects such as Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor, and Sou Fujimoto that underscore the continued significance of Kahn’s work.