Yes, You Kahn!

7 years ago by

Yes, You Kahn!

I adore architecture.

I spend a lot of my spare time reading about those who live on through their legacy of bricks and mortar. There are so many incredibly influential — and extremely talented — architects that recently it’s been difficult to narrow down my reading list. I usually end up with about twenty tabs open on Chrome every Sunday morning, toast burning. But one who I come back to time and time again is Louis Kahn, whose work was premised on the use and manipulation of light. So there are now these huge buildings that act as some kind of shrine to light, which I think is so romantic

I’ll always love Luis Barragan, too! His use of color is just beautiful.

Do you have a favorite architect? Do you prefer more traditional or contemporary architecture?


Add yours
  • This is indeed one of the most beautiful images in the history of architecture. If you have time, you should check out the movie his son made about him (My architect). I would add to your list Alvar Aalto, Carlo Scarpa, Peter Zumthor and Frank Lloyd Wright; they are magic.

  • Diana P. January, 7 2015, 4:36 / Reply

    As an almost architect, I have to add Steven Holl and Herzog & de Meuron! And Shigeru Ban of course! :)

    Diana P. | Cups & Roses

  • Amazing! Thank you, Diana. I’ll have to be sure to look into these names again — not all are familiar to me.

  • Catalina January, 7 2015, 4:41 / Reply

    Hi Neada, I’m a architecture student, and read the blog every day, I’m so happy you bring this subject up, because I don’t think it has been mentioned before, and I belive it has so much to do with fashion. I love Louis Kahn, his buildings are masterpieces. I also like very much what Tadao Ando does with light and how he manipulates it.
    What books do you read?
    Kisses from Argentina!

  • Hi Catalina,
    I am constantly online looking at architecture news (I love minimalism and also architecture that considers its natural surroundings). I tend to spend long hours in bookstores choosing heavy, coffee table books on my favorite architects and artists. I was an art history major, so I agree with the connects — fashion is very much in the same realm as art and design. I’m sure you have a whole library of amazing architecture books at school!

  • J’aime beaucoup Richard Neutra pour ses maisons en Californie, tellement en relation avec la nature. Wright a été cité dans un précédent commentaire et enfin, Tadao Ando, pour sa relation avec la lumière et la matérialité : le vide révèle les pleins, l’obscurité révèle la lumière. Magnifique.

    Je suis étudiante en école d’architecture, et malheureusement c’est un art encore mal connu ou mal aimé d’une bonne partie de la population, alors c’est super d’en parler ici ! Merci beaucoup :) !

  • Cette photo est très belle! Je ne me suis jamais vraiment penchée sur l’architecture, mais quand je vois ce genre de chose, ça m’interpelle, c’est beau!


  • As a french architect i have to say that you should absolutely look at the work of le Corbusier, especially the Tourette convent, Chandigarh, and the Church of Ronchamp. And as you like Kahn check out the work of Mendaro Corsini ( the Toledo Archives are a must of concrete and light, Teodoro Gonzales da Léon, Mendes da Rocha, Olivier Gahinet and Grafton architects, all not very famous but absolutely magical

  • this is gorgeous

    giveaway on my blog


  • i’ve always loved beautiful, inspiring architecture with lots of craftsmanship-
    Allan Greenberg is one architect who really is the real deal- i enjoy the spaces, craft and gardens-

  • Renzo Paino! Love! I’m an architect so I’m happy you bring up the subject! I read the blog daily too!

  • Zaha Hadid and Bjarke Ingles hands down!

  • Louis Kahn may be my favorite. The Kimball Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas was a delight to visit.
    A masterpiece. The light like silver. Luis Barragan is also a favorite of mine, and I’d love to visit his buildings. I agree, you should really see the movie, My Architect.

  • I also admire several works of the architects already mentioned. If you like the modern concrete buildings look into Oscar Niemeyer. There was a great exhibit years ago at the MOCA called Skin+Bones that examined the similarities between architecture and fashion design.

  • I also love Luis Barragan :) If you love architecture, check out Zaha Hadid, too :) The things she design is simply masterpieces !


  • The Salk Institute? Nice post!

  • Katerina January, 8 2015, 3:08 / Reply

    Hi, Neada! I’m an architect. It is seriously cool that Garance has someone who cares about architecture in her team. So to share my favourites – Herzog & de Meuron and Steven Hall. Just like Diana P. There are a lot of bad top firms, but these guys know what they are doing. SANAA are great, too. But I adore some of the mid-size firms – like Andersson Wise and MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple. Still, Herzog & de Meuron are geniuses – it is difficult to have a big practise and still maintain quality, but they manage to do just that! They never do the same thing twice and really challenge themselves with every project. You can look up how the Parish Museum project developed. They had to redesign it because of the bad economy, and both variants of the projects are pure poetry.

  • Louis Kahn is the architect of our parliament building.To me it looks like a living sculpture.So breathtakingly beautiful!! love from Bangladesh

  • Hyper jolie pic! J’adore minismalisme


  • Cristina January, 8 2015, 4:26 / Reply

    The Salk Institute in La Jolla… the memories.. The steep path that takes down to the beach. Thank you for posting this picture. It made my day.

  • Tadao Ando: sans aucun doute!

  • Hi Neada! So glad you bring this subject to the blog, I’m an architecture student from Mexico, and thus familiar with the work of both Luis Barragán and Kahn. The use of proportions and colour, and added texture from the material itself makes it truly special. You should check out this film made by Alex Roman, http://vimeo.com/7809605 which features some of the masterpieces of Kahn like the Exeter library. I find myself constantly watching it when I’m lacking inspiration.

    Besos, Mishell

  • hy! i´m an spanish architect and, if you love louis kahn and the building of the photo, the salk instiute, you´d like for sure to see the documental “cathedrals of culture”… just make a little research and tell me!
    i´m glad to read about architecture in this blog!

  • Le Salk Institute c’est l’un des bâtiments que je veux absolument aller voir au moins une fois dans ma vie.
    Saviez vous qu’en fait Kahn a demandé à Barragan de concevoir un jardin (donc avec des arbres, tout ça) pour le Salk Institute mais que c’est Barragan lui même qui lui a dit qu’il n’ajouterais pas une seule feuille?
    Bref, des petites anecdotes que, étant étudiante d’architecture, je trouve très intéresantes.

    Bisous de l’Espagne!

  • ILANA SANTOS January, 8 2015, 7:35 / Reply

    Moi, j’aime bien Louis Kahn aussi. Mais au moment j’apprends beaucoup sur Rem Koolhaas, et OMA ( bureau a Londres) et AMO (Institut de Recherce a Rotterdam). C’est super. Avez vous déjà vu le film My Architect? Le directeur est le fils de Louis Kahn en raccontent l’histoire de son père, et il découvre, en faisant le film, que son père avait trois familles (!!!). Le film montre la construcción de sa carrière et un peu de sa personalité misterieuse. J’aime toujours savoir un peu de le coté humain de ces que je considère génies. Pardon my french! ; )

  • Mishell Orta January, 8 2015, 8:08 / Reply

    Also check out the photography of Julius Schulman for the modernist works in the USA and that of Armando Salas Portugal for the work of Luis Barragán. Superb.


  • Bonjour Garance,

    Je suis architecte à Paris et donc ton sujet m’intéresse encore plus que d’habitude!
    Mes architectes préférés sont Herzog et de Meuron, RCR, Sanaa, Sou Fujimoto, Aires Mateus…et Barragan et Le Corbusier aussi.
    As-tu vu le film “My Architect” sur Louis Kahn?
    Si le sujet t’intéresse lis le livre sur la vie de charlotte Perriand “Une vie de création”, celui de Fernand Pouillon “Les pierres sauvages”…
    Il y a aussi un roman sur la vie de Franck Lloyd Wright “Loving franck”.
    Et quand tu es à Paris, n’hésite pas à aller visiter la Cité de l’architecture où il y a l’histoire de l’architecture qui est retracée en maquettes.
    Je reste à ta disposition si tu as des questions sur le sujet.


  • Delighted to see a post on Architecture! Do check the works of Geoffrey Bawa if you like to see how building and nature can merge.

  • Anything by Richard Neutra or Pierre Koening and, of course, Mies van der Rohe.

  • bavarian_blue January, 8 2015, 4:02 / Reply

    Hi Neada,
    you’ve gotten all the names of 20th century and today’s architecture genuises (would like to add Richard Meier). If you want to look back in art history you may stop for Brunelleschi’s work in Florence. Love his practice to relate every detail to the dimension of the hole building for a reduced strong elegance. In addition he was a great structural engineer.

  • Above your readers have listed so many amazing architects, what a great forum for discussing architecture. One of my favorites is Rick Joy. He creates the most beautiful structures in the desert that are in absolute harmony with their surroundings.

  • Yes! Architecture on the blog!! And I thought it couldn’t get any better :)

  • I’m so glad to see this subject here! As a portuguese Architect I have to tell you about Alvaro Siza Vieira and Souto de Moura. Both Pritzker winners!

  • Jesamine January, 9 2015, 4:59 / Reply

    As a member of one of the great art families in Australia, I would have to be slightly nepotistic and say that my great uncle Robin Boyd as well Harry Seidler were and still remain great influences on Australian architects today. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bydesign/the-secrets-behind-australias-most-enduring-architecture/6002750

  • Here are some architects and designers known more for their interiors and furniture to add to your tabs: Donald Deskey, Jean-Michel Frank, Eileen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouve, Emile Jacques Ruhlmann, Jean Dunand.

    Talent and vision in all forms is inspiring!

  • Kathryn Findlay was a huge inspiration for me, as a female in the profession…

  • Go look out for Peter Zumthor. His work on materials and materiality is pure poetry.

  • Juliette January, 11 2015, 6:14 / Reply

    Hi Neada,
    I’m a french architecture student, so great that someone talks about architecture here! I’ll just add the incredible Wang Shu, the only chinese architect who won the pritzker price! Amazing work of materials.

  • delphine plisson January, 12 2015, 7:05 / Reply

    You probably already know it, but have you seen the movie “the architect” about Louis Khan ?…

  • Ah, Khan. We are already friends, Neada. If I lived in NYC, we could hang out :)

    If you love Kahn, you can see his work in your backyard [Franklin D Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park]

    I add the following [sorry for any repeats]:

    Tadao Ando[he has a residential building going up in Nolita]
    Mies Van Der Rohe [Barcellona Pavillion, Farnesworth]
    Richard Neutra
    Pierre Koenig
    Peter Zumthor
    John Pawson
    Alberto Campo Beaza
    Claudio Silvestrin [Check out Kanye West’s NYC pad. Yes, perhaps it is not liveable but I love it!]
    Oscar Neimeyer

    I could go on and on,

  • If some one needs expert view regarding blogging and site-building
    afterward i recommend him/her to visit this website, Keep up the pleasant work.

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