Architecture City Guide: San Diego

This week our Architecture City Guide is headed to . It is home to the Salk Institute, one of ’s most well-known buildings, and Richard Neutra’s Airman’s Memorial Chapel. One could argue that these alone make a visit worth the trip. That said, we have put together a list of 12 great contemporary buildings that are also worth seeing. By limiting ourselves to 12 buildings we were not even able to include all the ones we have previously featured on our website. Take a look at our list and add to it in the comment section below.

Architecture City Guide: San Diego list and corresponding map after the break!

AD Classics: Kimbell Art Museum / Louis Kahn

© Parker

Located in Fort Worth, Texas, the by has become a mecca for all who are interested in modern architecture. The element of natural light is the main focus of the design, and creates elegant spaces that are perfectly suited for the art that it houses.

More on Louis Kahn and the Kimbell Art Museum after the break.

‘Six Architects’ posters by Andrea Gallo

/ © Andrea Gallo

We saw this incredible set of posters from iconic architects created by artist Andrea Gallo and felt the need to share them with you. They will be available for sale soon, so we look forward to buy one and decorate our office! Which one would you get? Check the posters of Frank Lloyd Wright, , Louis Kahn, Alvar Aalto and Walter Gropius after the break.

Louis I. Kahn exhibition opens at Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles

© Robert C. Lautman

Today the Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Los Angeles (IIC) will celebrate the opening of the first comprehensive exhibition on the cultural connection of the iconic American architect Louis I. Kahn and Italy. Entitled Kahn in Venice, the show was co‐organized by the ICC and the Louis I. Kahn collection of the University of Pennsylvania Archives.

The exhibition was designed by Kahn protégés Barton Myers and David Karp, along with Yianna Bouyioukou of Barton Myers Associates. A charcoal sketch of the Palazzo, accompanied by a model, is the centerpiece of the show, which also includes a comprehensive collection of Kahn’s travel sketches in Italy. The exhibition will run through March 19, 2011. You can find more information here.

New Yorkers top Architectural Events of 2010


This years architectural events in New York are bound to have a meaningful effect on the years to come; the decision by NYU to add another tower complementing I.M Pei’s existing Silver Towers complex (rather than their initial plan to demolish them), the opening of the first section of Brooklyn Bridge Park coupled with the completion of the High Line has re-established New York City as a key model to reference when it comes to designing urban public space, and finally construction began on Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, by , to name a few.

From transportation, urban planning, exhibitions, residential and office buildings follow the break to see the New Yorkers list of some of the most influential decisions surrounding architecture over the past year in New York.

AD Classics: First Unitarian Church of Rochester / Louis Kahn

© Ed Brodzinsky

was known for his infusion of culture and creating a sense of place within modern architecture.  Although it may not be as well known as some of his other projects around the world, the First Unitarian Church in Rochester, is one of Kahn’s most impressive works.  Completed slightly after the Salk Institute in 1967, it replaced their previous church that was designed by Richard Upjohn, founder of the AIA, which was demolished during urban redevelopment in Rochester.  The First Unitarian Church combines modern design aesthetic with traditional Unitarian values that promotes community and unites everyone at the heart of the building, the sanctuary.

AD Classics: Indian Institute of Management / Louis Kahn

© Dave Morris

While was designing the National Assembly Building in Bangladesh in 1962, he was approached by an admiring Indian architect, Balkrishna Doshi, to design the 60 acre campus for the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, .  Much like his project in Bangladesh, he was faced with a culture enamored in tradition, as well as an arid desert climate.  For Kahn, the design of the institute was more than just efficient spatial planning of the classrooms; he began to question the design of the educational infrastructure where the classroom was just the first phase of learning for the students.

AD Classics: Yale University Art Gallery / Louis Kahn

©Pfeiffer Partners and Levin & Associates Architects

Known for his fusion of the International Style and personal poetic influences in his architecture, is notably one of the most respected architects of the 20th century. He often worked alongside engineers and contractors, which enabled his innovative designs to be structurally sound while continually advancing towards a new refinement.

One of his more famous structures and the first significant commission of Louis Kahn, the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, was designed when he was a visiting critic at the Yale School of Architecture as the first of three art museums to be designed and built. The project was built between 1951 and 1953.

With this Kahn was able to explore the ideas he had about transforming modern architecture which to him lacked the monumental and spiritual quality of ancient buildings. He was successful in his hopes of redefining architecture, as this building marks a significant turning point in the history of American museum architecture.

More on Yale University Art Gallery after the break.

AD Classics: National Assembly Building of Bangladesh / Louis Kahn

© Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Modernist architecture is traditionally understood to be utilitarian, sleek, and most of all without context, such that it can be placed in any context and still stay true to aesthetic principles and its functional requirements.  However, ’s National Assembly Building of in Dhaka is an extraordinary example of modern architecture being transcribed as a part of Bangali vernacular architecture.  The National Assembly building, completed in 1982, stands as one of Kahn’s most prominent works, but also as a symbolic monument to the government of .

Progress on Four Freedoms Park / Louis Kahn

Courtesy FDR Four Freedoms Park.

Although the field of architecture continually  changes with advances in technology and shifts in society and culture, there rest a few names that seem frozen in time, as their ideas will continually influence generations of architects to come.  Of them, Louis Kahn has been revered as a master of the 20th century and soon, his memorial park design of the 1970s will finally be completed in .    The memorial is named after FDR’s Four Freedoms speech from 1941 where he declares that “In the future days,….we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression–everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want–which, translated into universal terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants–everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear–which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world.”

More about Kahn’s design after the break.

AD Classics: Exeter Library (Class of 1945 Library) / Louis Kahn

In 1965 Louis I. Kahn was commissioned by the Phillips Exeter Academy to design a library for the school. The Academy had been planning the new library for fifteen years but were consistently disappointed with the designs that the hired architects and committee were proposing. The Academy was very particular in knowing the kind of building they wanted: a exterior to match the Georgian buildings of the school and an interior with the ideal environment for study. Kahn’s sympathetic use of and his concerns for natural light met these specific principles that the Academy had in mind for the library, and thus the design fell in his hands.

More information on ’s Phillips Exeter Academy Library after the break.

AD Classics: Salk Institute / Louis Kahn

© Liao Yusheng

Progressing from the International Style, Louis Kahn believed buildings should be monumental and spiritually inspiring. In his design for the Salk Institute, he was successful in creating the formal perfection and emotional expressions that he so vigourously tried to achieve. Kahn was commissioned to design the Salk Institute in 1959 by Dr. Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine. Salk’s vision included a facility with an inspiring environment for scientific research, and Kahn’s design decisions created a functional institutional building that also became an architectural masterpiece.

More on the Salk Institute after the break.