1972


Louis I. Kahn, Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth, Texas: 1967-72).



And the cloud that passes over gives the room a feeling of association with the person that is in it, knowing that there is life outside of the room, and it reflects the life-giving that a painting does because I think a work of art is a giver of life. So light, this great maker of presences, can never be . . . brought forth by the single moment in light which the electric bulb has. And natural light has all the moods of the time of the day, the seasons of the year, [which] year to year and day for day are different from the day preceding.
Louis I. Kahn, Light is the Theme (Fort Worth: Kimbell Art Foundation, 1975), p. 18.




When Louis Kahn designs a museum, a similar emptying out occurs. These are sacred spaces for supra-earthly contemplation, where light is treated as a mystical presence or supernatural visitor, providing a model of what human users might aspire to. Thus the roof structure becomes and elemant of utmost moment and often remains unsettles and subject to change until late in the process.

This could be read as an allegory--the roof is the building's link with heaven or the membrane between the building and the heavens.
Robert Harbison, Thirteen Ways (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1997), p. 155.




The scenerio of initiation - death to the profane condidtion, followed by rebirth to the sacred world, the world of the gods - also plays an important role in highly evolved religions. . . .
From one religion to another, from one gnosis or one wisdom to another, the immemorial theme of the second birth is enriched with new values, which sometimes profoundly change the content of the experience. Nevertheless, a common element, an invariable, remains. It could be defined as follows: access to spiritual life always entails death to the profane condition, followed by a new birth.
Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane - The Nature of Religion (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1959), p. 197 & 201.







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