Louis I. Kahn

  • A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.

  • Architecture is the reaching out for the truth.

  • Consider the momentous event in architecture when the wall parted and the column became.

  • Design is not making beauty, beauty emerges from selection, affinities, integration, love.

  • Every time a student walks past a really urgent, expressive piece of architecture that belongs to his college, it can help reassure him that he does have that mind, does have that soul.

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    Architecture & Music

    Music and architecture are both a kind of mathematics. It is interesting that speaking about music, architecture and mathematics you can hear sometimes: architecture is the music of space, or the architecture of a theorema, or the inner music of mathematics, a.s.o. A well known author use to say in the beggining of the last century that architecture, music and dance are „pure arts” making the difference to other visual arts and literature. Why ? Because they exists only in mind. Louis Kahn used to say that architecture does not exists. What exists is a built reality which is an offering to the idea of architecture.
    What is the common thing in this relation architecture / music ? Of course any kind of classifying is in a way simplistic but we like to do it for the sake of thinking. Music and architecture do not need words as intercessor. I will say that music is the purest art because it goes directly to our sensibility, without – it seems – any process of sinking involved. Architecture seems to use the same shortcut to our sensibility, but architecture needs a special key to be un-codified (I hope this term exists in English !). There are people who enter architecture without seeing it. But music is telling people always that what they are listening is music, even it is a simple gospel.
    Music and architecture are using harmonies. What is harmony ? I believe we are speaking about some basic schemes – close to mathematics of the stars – which are structuring everything and we „feel” good when recognizing them.
    Harmony is fitting these basic schemes.
    Music and architecture both seem to include time as a main factor in discovering them. I was convinced of this but after listening Sergiu Celibidache – the celebrated musician – describing the way he discovered Music as a whole with no beginning and no end, but only a whole including every piece mirroring each other like a hologram, I am now thinking to Music in the same way I am thinking architecture – as a Whole.
    I like jazz very much and after listening many times a piece of jazz I understand each part of it by relating it to the whole and to all other parts. It is the same with architecture. There is no detail, there is no part, every detail and every part is justifying it through the whole and by all the other parts.
    Good music and good architecture. You can hear it or you can see it thousand times and each time you discover other beautiful surprises.
    Other similarity is the fact that music and architecture depends on the moment. The idea of music and the idea of architecture are each time completed by new experience but each time different. It depends of the artist – when we are speaking of music – and it depends on the light when we are speaking of architecture.


    Exista o poetica arhitecturii. De cele mai multe ori, poetica e cea care dezvaluie arhitectura, inainte de a fi operate decodificari sofisticate. Adevarata arhitectura nu are nevoie de manual pentru a fi inteleasa, pentru ca arhitectura nu e facuta numai pentru experti. Exista o poetica a materialului, o poetica a structurii, o poetica a relatiilor functionale, exista o poetica a spatiului arhitectural. Cand parcurgi ansamblul Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban din Dacca (Louis Kahn) intelegi imediat ca dispunerea functiunilor urmeaza o logica a poeticii, dincolo de logica numarului si dimensiunilor usilor.
    Nimic insa, nici cea mai nihilista teorie a intamplarii, nu poate face abstractie de faptul ca arhitectura este facuta pentru a fi “ocupata” de oameni. Iar arhitectura are sansa de a fi arta numai daca este “citita” sau “simtita” ca atare nu numai de catre experti.

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    Despre etnicitatea arhitecturii

    dan_agentAm primit recent de la o foarte buna prietena, fosta colega de liceu, ce traieste actualmente in California, un mesaj prin care-mi forwarda o lista intocmita, de altcineva, cuprinzand nume de personalitati ale culturii si civilizatiei lumii, de origine iudaica sau cu ascendenta iudaica.

    Am putut gasi pe lista nume ca Roosvelt, Stalin, Eisenhower, Churchill, Cary Grant, Peter Sellers, Rober DeNiro, Harry Belafonte, Harrison Ford, avand ascendenta iudaica, sau Goldwin si Meyer, Jonas Salk, Levi Strauss, Einstein, Marc Chagall, Steven Spielberg, Houdini, Freud, Gershwin, de etnie iudaica …
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    Joi 05 Martie 2009, ora 16.30 invit pe studentii mei (si nu numai) la Sala Studio a Universitatii, pentru a viziona impreuna un film minunat: MY ARCHITECT realizat de fiul marelui arhitect LOUIS I.KAHN.