The Tectonic Thinking and Strategies in Louis I. Kahn’s Art Museums

Authors

  • Chih-Ming Shih National Taiwan University of Science and Technology 43, Keelung Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei, R. O. C. Taiwan
  • Fang-Jar Liou National Taiwan University of Science and Technology 43, Keelung Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei, R. O. C. Taiwan

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15377/2409-9821.2016.03.02.2

Keywords:

Louis Kahn, art museum, mechanical services, passive natural lighting.

Abstract

 Through the use of tectonic form to integrate natural lighting and modern mechanical services into his art museum designs, Louis Kahn was able to give full expression to the spatial poetics of his tectonic thinking. By making a comparative examination of the literature and illustrations and presenting 3D models, we examine how, in the process of giving shape to space, Kahn was able to make the most of the inherent qualities of his materials to integrate the mechanical services into his three museums designs—the Yale University Art Gallery (1951–53); the Kimbell Art Museum (1966–72); and the Yale Center for British Art (1969–74)—while also making ample use of natural lighting. We then go on to investigate why Kahn adopted a design concept which used tectonic form and natural lighting to give expression to the inherent spatial characteristics of a museum. The results indicate that the architectural principle of complying with the structural form and order were the main factors influencing Kahn’s approach to integrating the mechanical services and natural light into these three designs. It was also found that Kahn’s pioneering use of passive natural lighting has had a significant impact on subsequent museum designs.

Author Biographies

Chih-Ming Shih, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology 43, Keelung Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei, R. O. C. Taiwan

Department of Architecture

Fang-Jar Liou, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology 43, Keelung Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei, R. O. C. Taiwan

Department of Architecture

References

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Kahn L. New Frontiers in Architecture. In: Latour A., ED. Louis I. Kahn: Writings, lectures, interviews. New York: Rizzoli International Publications Inc 1991; 88.

Kahn L. Form and Design. In: Latour A, ED. Louis I. Kahn: Writings, lectures, interviews. New York: Rizzoli International Publications Inc 1991; 116-117.

Kahn L Structure. In: Latour, A., ED. Louis I. Kahn: Writings, lectures, interviews. New York: Rizzoli International Publications Inc 1991; 223.

Loud PC. The art museums of Louis I. Kahn, Durham: Duke University Press 1989; 261.

Kahn L. Notes of meeting. In: Latour, A., ED. Louis I. Kahn: Writings, lectures, interviews. New York: Rizzoli International Publications Inc 1991; 92.

Millet MS. Light revealing architecture. Mexico: International Thomson Publishing Inc 1996; 160-161.

Ibid.

Loud PC. The art museums of Louis I. Kahn, Durham: Duke University Press 1989; 265.

Kahn L. How to Develop New Methods of Construction Otterlo 1959. In: Latour, A., ED. Louis I. Kahn: Writings, lectures, interviews. New York: Rizzoli International Publications Inc 1991; 57.

Ibid.

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Kahn L. Monumentality. In: Latour A, ED. Louis I. Kahn: Writings, lectures, interviews. New York: Rizzoli International Publications Inc 1991; 45.

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Published

2016-12-31

How to Cite

1.
Chih-Ming Shih, Fang-Jar Liou. The Tectonic Thinking and Strategies in Louis I. Kahn’s Art Museums. Int. J. Archit. Eng. Technol. [Internet]. 2016Dec.31 [cited 2021Sep.25];3(2):37-51. Available from: https://www.avantipublishers.com/jms/index.php/ijaet/article/view/784

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Articles