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Architecture

Light: The Building Material of Louis Kahn

February 03, 2016

Louis Kahn once said, “A room is not a room without natural light.” Kahn used light and shadow the same way most architects use brick and wood. They were essential building components in his designs. Some of our favorite examples of his outstanding work with natural light are the Salk Institute and The Kimbell Art Museum.

In the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California (1959), Kahn created symmetrical buildings, separated by a single water feature, sets up perfectly to watch the sun set.

The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas (1966), is another one of his masterpieces. He diffused natural light to fill the space, without any direct lighting on any of the artwork. He even understood the differences in light quality, depending on the season, and created unique experiences for visitors.

Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban, the National Assembly Building, in Dhaka, Bangladesh by Louis Kahn, 1961-1982.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban, the National Assembly Building, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, by Louis Kahn.

Image courtesy of Fischer Lighting

The Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, by Louis Kahn, at sunset.

Image courtesy of Architizer.

Louis Kahn at his Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.

Image courtesy of Style Park.

The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, by Louis Kahn.

Image courtesy of Studio Forbes.

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