Nearly 40 years after Welfare Island was renamed to honor President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), the Four Freedoms Park is nearly complete. The four-acre park, located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island in New York City, honors the 32nd U.S. President and the four essential freedoms he believed in. The legendary architect Louis I. Kahn , FAIA (1901-1974) was commissioned to design the memorial in the early seventies and completed the design right before his unfortunate death in 1974. As New York City approached bankruptcy, the project was put on hold until March 29, 2010. Now, many are anxiously anticipating the park’s grand opening that will take place this Fall.
Continue after the break to learn about the story and design of Four Freedoms Park.
This week we will propose the first documentary of the list within our section of Films & Architecture. There is not much to say about the figure of Kahn, since it has been worldwide recognized. Nevertheless this is a film that captures in a magnificent way the greatness of Kahn’s work through his son’s journey. I guess everyone related somehow with architecture will feel touched by this extraordinary recording. Let us know in the comments what is (or was) your experience watching the film.
This short film by Pablo Casals-Aguirre captures the formal perfection and daily life within Louis Kahn’s architectural masterpiece, the Salk Institute. Kahn was commissioned in 1959 to design the inspiring facility for scientific research. The iconic facility became a designated San Diego Historical Landmark in 1991 and continues to attract daily admirers from all corners of the earth.
Review detailed information, images and drawings at AD Classics: Salk Institute / Louis Kahn.
Last September, we shared the news of Louis Kahn’s memorial park for the southernmost tip of Roosevelt Island. Kahn had designed the park in the 70s, but after his sudden death, the plan was forgotten until 1992 when the MoMA featured the scheme in an exhibition. Upon learning of Kahn’s thoughtful and architecturally compelling ideas to commemorate FDR and his Four Freedoms speech, the public quickly advocated its completion. As we reported earlier, at the end of Kahn’s axial tree-lined triangular “Garden”, a 72 sqf “Room” will contain excerpts from the text of President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech. This room, contained by 12 foot high granite columns, is meant for contemplation and remembrance as Kahn’s stoic material palette, clear formal attitude, and forced perspective of the skyline will create, what we imagine will be, a quiet and peaceful atmosphere. With Kahn’s simple gestures, the memorial will preserve a time in American history where FDR’s leadership inspired hope to endure the Great Depression and the second World War. We’re excited for the memorial to be completed and we’ll keep you up to date with its progress.
A great sample of construction photos and renderings after the break.
From previously unpublished material and new analytic drawings this book explores Louis Kahn’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.
This week our Architecture City Guide is headed to San Diego. It is home to the Salk Institute, one of Louis Kahn’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!
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, Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, Alvar Aalto and Walter Gropius after the break.
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.
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 Louis Kahn, 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.
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 New York. 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.