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You Say to Brick : The Life of Louis Kahn
by Wendy Lesser


Overview -

The first biography of the iconic American architect that delves fully into his life and work

Born to a Jewish family in Estonia in 1901 and brought to America in 1906, the architect Louis Kahn grew up in poverty in Philadelphia; by the time of his death in 1974, he was widely recognized as one of the greatest architects of his era.  Read more...


 
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More About You Say to Brick by Wendy Lesser
 
 
 
Overview

The first biography of the iconic American architect that delves fully into his life and work

Born to a Jewish family in Estonia in 1901 and brought to America in 1906, the architect Louis Kahn grew up in poverty in Philadelphia; by the time of his death in 1974, he was widely recognized as one of the greatest architects of his era. Yet this enormous reputation was based on only a handful of masterpieces, all built during the last fifteen years of his life.

Perfectly complementing Nathaniel Kahn s award-winning documentary, "My Architect," Wendy Lesser s "You Say to Brick "is a major exploration of the architect s life and work. Kahn, perhaps more than any other twentieth-century American architect, was a public architect. Eschewing the usual corporate skyscrapers, hotels, and condominiums, he focused on medical and educational research facilities, government centers, museums, libraries, parks, religious buildings, and other structures that would serve the public good. Yet this warm, captivating person, beloved by students and admired by colleagues, was also a secretive and mysterious character hiding behind a series of masks.

Drawing on extensive original research; lengthy interviews with his children, his colleagues, and his students; and travel to the far-flung sites of his career-defining buildings, Lesser has written a landmark biography of this elusive man, which reveals the mind behind some of the twentieth century's most celebrated architecture."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780374279974
  • ISBN-10: 0374279977
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publish Date: March 2017
  • Page Count: 416
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.45 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Artists, Architects, Photographers
Books > Architecture > Individual Architects & Firms - General
Books > Architecture > History - Contemporary (1945 -)

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-09-19
  • Reviewer: Staff

Lesser (Why I Read) doesnt merely chronicle the life of Louis Kahn, who came to America from Estonia with his impoverished family and gradually muscled his way into the pantheon of the 20th centurys most celebrated architects. She also manages to let the reader vicariously experience Kahns architecture, interspersing this biography with elegant vignettes in which she walks through his most iconic structures. Her enthusiasm for Kahns architecture is infectious. Kahn began his professional career designing housing for destitute workers during the Great Depression, and his subsequent architecture projects (always public: museums, churches, libraries, and government buildings) were invariably designed in the egalitarian spirit of bringing beauty to all social classes. These palatial concrete structures were unmistakably modern, but they nevertheless owed much to Roman architecture, and, like the Colosseum, utilize natural light as a nearly palpable architectural element. Lesser breaks from a chronological narrative, instead beginning with Kahns death and ending with his childhood, where she finally divulges the story behind the scars that so cruelly marked Kahns face. Exhaustively researched and poetically written, Lessers book offers a fitting and eminently accessible tribute to an architect who so ardently sought to bring beauty to the public square. B&w photos. (Mar.)

 
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