John Lobell

  • Kahn and Venturi: An Architecture of Being-in-Context

    I prefer “both-and” to “either-or”; “black-and-white-and-sometimes-gray,” to black or white.

    —Robert Venturi1

    BOTH LOUIS KAHN AND ROBERT VENTURI have reacted to orthodox modern architecture. As different as they are, they complement one another in restoring two vital qualities of experience that were expurgated by the modern movement, Being and context. Kahn was concerned with the eternal qualities of Being (and with human being). He sought essences in buildings, that is, their fundamental natures, their origins beyond the merely circumstantial. Kahn typically asked such questions as: “What is

  • American Women Architects

    IN THE NAME OF “FUNCTIONALISM” modern architecture has progressively excluded more and more issues from its program. Modern architecture first rebelled against the classical orders, which were seen as symbolic of dead empires and irrelevant to democracy and industrialization. But with the rebellion against a specific symbolic system (the classical orders as canonized in Beaux-Arts convention) came a rejection of symbol and meaning in general. Thus Le Corbusier’s, Mies’s and Gropius’s “white-box” houses of the 1920s and ’30s were deliberately meant to avoid the pitched roofs and the wood and