Louis Kahn is amazing at merging architectural modernism with ancient elements without losing the innovation of contemporary design.
His interest in symmetry draws the viewers eye to the centre of his design and beyond. He is a master at playing with light and shadow. The Salk Institute fountain above aligns with the sun at both the autumnal and vernal equinox. Khan's symmetry makes space for ancient world balance, and focus in our lives. It is a reminder that we are part of a larger existence. Perhaps that is why I am drawn to his work.
He was a monumental architect, he looked to civilizations past for inspiration. After a trip to Rome he wrote, “I finally realize that the architecture of Italy will remain as the inspirational source of the works of the future…those who don’t see it that way ought to look again. Our stuff looks tiny compared to it.” There was always a clear reference in his work to the ancient buildings he admired.
When he died in 1974 he was one of the most celebrated architects in the United States, and to this day he has remained deeply influential on restoring beauty back into architecture. -tM