Louis Kahn on the Thoughtful Making of Spaces / Michael Merrill

From previously unpublished material and new analytic drawings this book explores ’s Dominican Motherhouse, his unbuilt masterpiece. Kahn pushed and prodded modern architecture into a crisis that questioned aspects of space that modernism had proudly banished from its program. The Dominican Motherhouse is an exemplary exhibition of Kahn’s relentless questioning of architectural space: seeking the sources of its meaning in its social, morphological, landscape and contextual dimensions. The questions brought up again and again in this book are as pertinent today as they were Kahn was asking them.


On the Value of Uncompleted Things

Section I
Louis Kahn and The Dominican Motherhouse 1965-1969

15 Prelude to a Project: Congregation, Program, and Architect

25 “Architecturing”: The Designs, April 1966-December 1968

Section II
On the Nature of Space, 1940-1974

115 Prelude to a Paradigm: Kahan, the Room, and the Beginning of Architecture

123 Configuration, Movement, and Space: From “Circulation” to an “Architecture of Connection”

145 The Twin Phenomena of Inside and Outside: “Dichotomous Things” or the Theme of Reciprocity

179 From Space to Place: Establishing the General to Revealing the Specific

205 Epilogue: On Good Questions

213 Appendix

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Lars Muller Publishers (September 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 303778220X
ISBN-13: 978-3037782200

Cite: Henry, Christopher. "Louis Kahn on the Thoughtful Making of Spaces / Michael Merrill" 07 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=141553>
  • Tosh

    The title should be more specific, I think. For example: “On the thoughtful making of monumental, sculptural and (probably) not very useful spaces”. I am sure anybody who has any knowledge in urban design would probably agree with me.
    Louis Kahn is one of my favourite architects (one of the 3-5 top architects in my opinion), but he was also too obsessed with monumentality and form as such.. otherwise, I’m sure the book is really nice and beautifully written and editted.

    • maciek

      So, when it comes to urban planning, what would You recommend? (I’m asking seriously)

    • John

      I think that an architect who is not obsessed with what he does is a bad architect…
      Maybe as an urban designer you do not have this beautifully sick and creatively mad disease!