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Louis Kahn Plays the Organ

On January 12, 1970, Louis Kahn was the guest of honor at the First Annual Le Corbusier Lecture Series at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. The lecture committee, Professor Dick Oliver and I, hatched up the idea of calling it a “Le Corbusier” series, thinking it might make it easier to get big names to come to Austin. It worked when we called Louis Kahn’s office in Philadelphia. The person on the other end of the phone said that Kahn loved Le Corbusier — he had in fact visited him in Paris in 1928 — and…

Wilderness Tamed

Louis Kahn was a great talker as well as a great architect, famed for giving mesmerizing lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, where he dispensed his mystical pronouncements like gumballs. All that talking and ruminating on the nature of things is probably one reason it took him almost eight years to complete the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. The result was well worth the wait. Opened in 1972, the rippling series of concrete-and-travertine vaults stands today as his masterpiece and one of the finest museums of the 20th century. After all these years, the gentle, celestial light that tumbles…

Dallas Arts District – Time for a Remix?

Dallas Arts District – Time for a Remix? by Joe Self, AIA   Trendy food trucks have arrived in the heart of the Dallas Arts District at lunchtime to populate an otherwise quiet section of downtown. The trucks with their eager vendors serve as a kind of non-architectural redevelopment force and a reminder of the original vision for the district — a vibrant mix of pedestrian-friendly uses. Why that didn’t happen is rooted in a culture of commercial development not uncommon in 20th Century American cities, and in the dearth of architects active in community and governmental organizations. “The Sasaki…