Longevity & Legacy Almanac 2014: The Nomad Architect.

Louis Kahn, 73

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“I just want to make my last demand in reverence to the work of what has been done by architects of the past. What was, has always been. What is, has always been and what will be, has always been. Such is the nature of beginning.”

Some are born to see what is not in front of them, creating those things imagined into a reality by way of infinite curiosity. Such is the impression you get from the story of Louis Kahn who died in 1974, bankrupt and alone in a train station men’s room in New York City. How ironic for an architect who designed public buildings around the world.

Kahn’s work is distinctive. He created spaces with Silence and Light in mind. He was a nomad architect surpassing space and time. His personal life was to say the least, intense, complex and definitely of singular purpose. Worth watching is his son Nathaniel’s 2003 documentary, “My Architect: A Son’s Journey”. Nathaniel took on his nomadic film journey to get a better understanding of this genius father, scared face and all.

As you enter certain buildings on your travels, do you ever have an immediate appreciation for it as the legacy of the designer, even though you might not know their name? Well if so, you will instinctively go back because of how that space affects you as much as for the utility it may serve for you.

So goes the longevity of Louis Kahn. His works of art transcend.

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