The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn Architect, Princeton Architectural Press Publication, Book Image

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn

Jan 29, 2021

Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn

Designers & Books Launches a Kickstarter on February 17 2021 to Reissue The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn
The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn 2021 Kickstarter project image

Designers & Books Launches a Kickstarter on February 17 to Reissue The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn Originally published in 1962 and out of print for almost fifty years, the first book on influential modern architect Louis Kahn to feature work in his own hand will be reissued in a facsimile edition, accompanied by a new Reader’s Guide.

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn
1956 study for center city Philadelphia, ink on tracing paper

Designers & Books is launching a Kickstarter on February 17 to issue The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn, long out of print, in a new facsimile edition.

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn
Portrait of Louis I. Kahn, from a photograph by George Pohl

Created by Richard Saul Wurman, along with printer Eugene Feldman, and first published in 1962 (second edition, 1973), the book is one of the earliest public acknowledgments of the genius of the influential and iconoclastic American modern architect Louis I. Kahn (1901–1974) and the one Kahn called his favorite book about his work. The generously sized folio features sketches from Kahn’s travels and drawings of selected projects, paired with texts from his personal notebooks and unpublished speeches.

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn
Front cover

This exact reproduction will be accompanied by an extensive Reader’s Guide, which includes new writings by a variety of critics and colleagues as well as personal recollections, along with additional visual material, much of it previously unpublished, providing important new context for understanding Kahn’s art and his thinking.

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn
1951 Delphi from Marmaria, Greece, crayon in notebook

The Kickstarter for the Facsimile and Reader’s Guide is being launched to celebrate Louis Kahn’s 120th birthday in February 2021. The two books are produced with the approval and cooperation of Richard Saul Wurman, Nathaniel Kahn, and the Louis I. Kahn Collection at the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania.

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn
1951 Luxor, Egypt, crayon in notebook

About The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn
The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn was conceived by a then twenty-five-year-old Richard Saul Wurman, a former student of Louis Kahn, age fifty-nine, who employed him in his Philadelphia office. Wurman (acclaimed today as one of the first practicing information architects, and founder of the TED Conference), with Kahn’s agreement, selected all the drawings for the book. “I didn’t choose what were considered his best, most finished drawings,” Wurman notes. “I chose those that spoke to me—much in the same way that Lou would say you had a conversation with the building . . . the drawings that told me what they were trying to be.”

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn
Mikveh Israel Synagogue, Independence Hall Mall, Philadelphia, concept studies, ink in notebook

A section of travel sketches (reproduced at full size) from the 1950s depicting sites in Greece, Egypt, Italy, and France reflect Kahn’s abiding interest in interpreting monumental forms. A following section features a selection of early drawings and renderings for, among other well-known projects, the sculpture court of the Yale University Art Gallery; the A.N. Richards Medical Research Building (Laboratory), designated a National Historic Landmark in 2009, at the University of Pennsylvania; the General Motors Exhibition Building for the 1964 New York World’s Fair; and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in La Jolla, California, as well as visionary studies for the Philadelphia center city. Interspersed throughout are texts from mainly unpublished speeches that Kahn reworked for the book.

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn
1962 Graham Foundation studies for center city Philadelphia, plan diagram, ink

William Whitaker, curator of the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania, which holds the Louis I. Kahn Collection, asserts: “Wurman and Feldman’s Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn is a big book not just by the measure of its folio size but by audaciously and courageously getting you into the head of the architect.”

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn
1961 Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego, California, Meeting House concept study, pencil on yellow tracing paper

About the 2021 Facsimile and Reader’s Guide
The 2021 Facsimile will be an exact reproduction of the 1973 second edition (produced by MIT
Press), to which was added a four-page handwritten introduction Kahn wrote in the form a
letter to Wurman and Feldman from his perspective ten years after the original 1962 (Falcon
Press) publication.

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn
1957 A.N. Richards Medical Research Building, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, definitive study, pencil on tracing paper

Key Facsimile Specifications:
• 11.25 x 15 inches, vertical
• 96 pages, including four three-page gatefolds
• 76 drawings
• Two sections: section 1 is a group of sketches produced (at actual size); section 2 is a
group of Kahn’s early sketches and finished renderings of buildings and visions.
• Interspersed throughout with text based largely on transcriptions of unpublished
speeches given between 1960 and 1962. Also includes selections from Kahn’s Voice of
America broadcast, his Universal Atlas Cement Company folder, the Museum of
Modern Art booklet on the Richards Medical Research Building, and an introduction
written for the book.
• Bound in linen-covered boards, front cover stamped in gold foil with a detail of stylized
trees from a Kahn sketch

Each page of the 1973 edition of The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis Kahn can be viewed online at the official Louis I. Kahn Facsimile Project website: www.louisikahn.com.

An accompanying Reader’s Guide, designed to complement the Facsimile, will include new writings from a variety of contributors as well as extensive visual material from the Louis I. Kahn Collection at the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania, much of it previously unpublished.

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn
1956 studies for center city Philadelphia, ink on tracing paper

Key Reader’s Guide Specifications:
• 11.25 x 15 inches, vertical
• Approximately 120 pages
• New writings from Richard Saul Wurman; William Whitaker; Louis Kahn’s three
children—Nathaniel Kahn, Sue Ann Kahn, and Alexandra Tyng; Jonathan Salk; and Paul Goldberger, among others. Also includes tributes from architects who have been winners of the Louis I. Kahn Award: David Adjaye, Tadao Ando, David Chipperfield, Peter Eisenman, Ted Flato, Norman Foster; Jeanne Gang, Frank Gehry, Nicholas Grimshaw, Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind, Thom Mayne, Moshe Safdie, Denise Scott Brown, Robert A.M. Stern, Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, and Rafael Viñoly.

• Numerous images and additional archival material from the Louis I. Kahn Collection at
the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania.
• Trade paperback with matte black covers, front cover stamped in silver foil with a detail
of stylized trees from a Kahn sketch
The Kickstarter campaign will run from February 17 through March 31, 2021.

About Designers & Books
Designers & Books is an artisanal publisher focused on art and design books that inspire us to remain true to our creative spirit. It created the successfully funded Kickstarters for facsimiles of Depero Futurista (the Bolted Book) by Fortunato Depero, published in 2017, and Visual Design in Action by Ladislav Sutnar in 2015, as well as the original publication Seymour Chwast: At War with War in 2016. Designers & Books also maintains a website that advocates for books as
important sources of inspiration.

For detailed information on Louis I. Kahn, visit: www.louisikahn.com

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn
1950 Doges’ [Doge’s] Palace, Venice, Italy, crayon in notebook

All images courtesy of Designers & Books unless otherwise noted.

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I Kahn images / information received 290121

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