Michael Merrill

Louis Kahn: Drawing to Find Out

The Dominican Motherhouse and the Patient Search for Architecture

Like few others, Louis Kahn cultivated the craft of drawing as a means to architecture. His personal design drawings – seen either as a method of discovery or for themselves – are unique in the twentieth century. Over two hundred – mostly unpublished – drawings by Kahn and his associates are woven together with a lively and informed commentary into an intimate biography of an architectural idea. Unfolding around the iconic project for the Dominican Motherhouse (1965–1969) the drawings form a narrative which not only reveals the richness and hidden dimensions of this unbuilt masterpiece, but provides compelling insights into Louis Kahn’s mature culture of designing.

Kahn – long considered an “architects’ architect” – emerges as a vivid and instructive guide, provoking reflection on questions which continue to remain relevant: on how works are conceived, on how they might be perceived, on how they become part of human experience. Fascinating not only in their beauty, the drawings open a new and stimulating perspective on one of the past century’s great architects.

Like few others, Louis Kahn cultivated the craft of drawing as a means to architecture. His personal design drawings – seen either as a method of discovery or for themselves – are unique in the twentieth century. Over two hundred – mostly unpublished – drawings by Kahn and his associates are woven together with a lively and informed commentary into an intimate biography of an architectural idea. Unfolding around the iconic project for the Dominican Motherhouse (1965–1969) the drawings form a narrative which not only reveals the richness and hidden dimensions of this unbuilt masterpiece, but provides compelling insights into Louis Kahn’s mature culture of designing.

Kahn – long considered an “architects’ architect” – emerges as a vivid and instructive guide, provoking reflection on questions which continue to remain relevant: on how works are conceived, on how they might be perceived, on how they become part of human experience. Fascinating not only in their beauty, the drawings open a new and stimulating perspective on one of the past century’s great architects.

Author(s): Michael Merrill

Design: Integral Lars Müller

30 x 24 cm, 11 ¾ x 9 ½ in

240 pages, 233 illustrations

hardback

2010, 978-3-03778-221-7, English
CHF 85.00

Michael Merrill

Michael Merrill is an award-winning architect and educator. He taught architectural design and theory at the Technical Universities at Karlsruhe and Darmstadt and has served as the director of research at the institute for building typology at KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) since 2017. Michael Merrill is the author of three books on Louis Kahn: "Louis Kahn: Drawing to Find Out”, "Louis Kahn: On the Thoughtful Making of Spaces” and “Louis Kahn: The Importance of a Drawing".