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ARCHITECT Louis I Kahn

LOCATION Chestnut hill,Pennyslvania


DATE 1959-1961
BUILDING TYPE House
CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM Wood frame.dark stucco,large
windows
CLIMATE Temperate
CONTEXT Suburban
STYLE Modern

































Esherick House Commentary
"Kahn built relatively few houses. In each there seems to be a larger-scale building
trying to escape from the confines of the client's budget. In the Esherick House, the
inherent monumentality of the plan is diminished by the fact that the major living
spaces are surrounded by very thick walls. In the double-height living room, the
fireplace wall is literally deep. The opposite wall in plan also has a fireplace used
in the bathroom, but the wall is thicker containing a zone of servant spaces,
kitchen, bathrooms, closets which are not part of the axial symmetry of the two
major living spaces.. The two window walls are also thick but these frame walls
with alcoves or niches between the casements. The most intricate planning occurs
on the first floor where the sliding doors between the gallery and bedroom, and
then between bedroom and bathroom, suggest a flow of space from void to room to
altar."
David Dunster. Key Buildings of the Twentieth Century Volume 2: Houses
1945-1989. p52-53.
The Creator's Words
"House of Dark Stucco, stained natural wood reveals for windows. The building
will not look flat. The deep reveal of windows, entrance alcoves and 2nd floor
lower porches will give it an alive look at all times. The 2 parts of the building
divided by the alcoves should offer subtle silhouette."
Louis I. Kahn. from Heinz Ronner, with Sharad Jhaveri and Alessandro Vasella
Louis I. Kahn: Complete Works 1935-74. p134.
Two Houses
"The Kitchen wants to be the Living Room.
The Bed Room wants to be a little house by itself.
The car is the room on wheels.

In searching for the nature of the spaces of housemight they not be separated a
distance from each other theoretically before they are brought together. A
predetermined total form might inhibit what the various spaces want to be.
Architectural interpretations accepted without reflection could obscure the search
for signs of a true nature and a higher order. The order of construction should
suggest an even greater variety or design in the interpretations of what space
aspires to become and more versatilityin expression of the ever present problems
of levels, services, the sun, the wind and the rain."