New exhibition opening in July - Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture (9 July - 12 October 2014).
Louis Kahn (1901-1974) was a visionary architect, an expert manipulator of form and light, a creator of uniquely dramatic buildings, and a highly complex individual.
The new exhibition at the Design Museum explores Kahn’s work and legacy through architectural models, original drawings, travel sketches, photographs and films; bringing to life his singular career and diverse output.
Described in his New York Times obituary as having been one of America’s foremost living architects, Kahn nonetheless realised few buildings in his lifetime and died practically bankrupt. Despite this, he was hugely influential – a fact affirmed by interviews with Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor and Sou Fujimoto which feature in the exhibition. Now, Kahn’s reputation is being redefined, as his search for an architecture that grows out of a sense of place seems more important than ever.
Kahn himself drew on a wide range of sources, from ancient ruins to the work of Le Corbusier. He used innovations in construction techniques to design modern buildings that also project an elemental, primitive power. He was a perfectionist and an artist, who also believed that architects have an important social responsibility.
Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture examines Kahn through a number of broad themes: The World as Structure – exploring the structural logic that forms the foundation of his buildings, and his work as a teacher; Ruins and Archetypes – illustrating his multifaceted references to architectural history; Grounding – showing the importance of landscape and environment within his work; and Community – demonstrating the fundamental social significance of architecture for Kahn.
All of Kahn’s important projects are extensively documented, from his early urban planning concepts and single-family houses to late works such as the Roosevelt Memorial (1973-74), which was posthumously completed in October 2012.
Kahn’s greatest masterpieces all take the form of inspiring institutions: The Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, designed to be ‘a facility worthy of a visit by Picasso’; the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas – a showcase for Kahn’s extraordinary ability to work with light; and the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh – testament to the incredible impact of his monumental style. Each project is fully represented in this timely exhibition, which seeks to bring one of the twentieth century’s greatest master builders to a new audience.
Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture is an exhibition of the Vitra Design Museum in cooperation with the Netherlands Architecture Institute, now part of the New Institute, Rotterdam and the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.
The exhibition’s Global Sponsor is Swarovski.
Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture at the Design Museum is generously supported by the Louis Kahn Syndicate.
For more information please visit Design Museum website at www.designmuseum.org
The Design Museum has sold its current home at Shad Thames to Zaha Hadid Architects.
The sale is the next step in the Design Museum’s journey to relocate to the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington High Street, west London, which is planned to open in late 2015. The Design Museum’s lease at Shad Thames belongs to the Conran Foundation who also paid for the museum’s original design and construction. The Conran Foundation will give the proceeds from the sale towards the construction of the new museum.
The Design Museum has been in the current building since 1989 and will continue its extensive programme of exhibitions until the new museum opens. Under the terms of the sale agreement the Design Museum will continue to operate at Shad Thames until 2015.
The move will give the Design Museum three times more space to show a wide range of exhibitions and showcase its collection.
Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum, comments ‘Whilst we are sad to be leaving Shad Thames we are leaving the building in the best possible hands, the sale is a significant moment in the museum’s relocation plans and a substantial contribution towards our new home.’
Zaha Hadid adds ‘This important acquisition of the Shad Thames site will preserve its significance and we look forward to the future use and occupation of the building.’
The Design Museum at Shad Thames was sold with the support of Cushman & Wakefield and Hogan Lovells International LLP.