Louis I. Kahn

Dominican Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Catherine de Ricci     Media   Pennsylvania

1   b   c

House for Otto 9   2315
House for Otto 10   2316
Dominican Fortress   2356
Dominican Villa Savoye   2365
Domestic Museum   2381

The Philadelphia School Deterritorialized  
dossier: collage architecture   3754

Towards a Metabolic Architecture
Louis I. Kahn and his contribution towards metabolic architecture? Destruction of the square; an analysis of the Dominican Sister's Motherhouse.

changing x, y, and z scales
...the computer capability of changing x, y, and z scales independently of each other. This will purely be a series of examples to show a capability that designers never had before and perhaps there really is no reason for designers to ever use the capability, but I think the results, especially using 3-D models, will demonstrate something about scale. I just realized that what will actually be changing will be the buildings proportions. That suggests an even deeper analysis. In any case, I am going to start with St. Pierre and Dominican Motherhouse, and Hurva Synagogue, and maybe even West Pakistan Parliament and UNEP.

scale and architecture
...comparable in scale to the Dominican Motherhouse is the Tower of Shadows. ...suggests a comparison with domestic (scale) buildings.

model data
...worm's eye axonometrics... ...might be especially helpful for the Dominican Motherhouse...

Exhibit Graphics: Inspiration
...could replace the Kahn buildings with other buildings from Quondam's collection, i.e., keep the Motherhouse footprint but use buildings of a similar size and program, e.g., St. Pierre Firminy-Vert for the church/chapel, Houses Under a Common Roof for the dormitory wings; Museum of Knowledge or the Museum for Nordrhein Westfalen pavilion for the administration tower. Also compare scales with Hurva Synagogue, Villa Savoye, Altes Museum, Gooding House.

individual building comparisons
...comparing the Motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters and the Altes Museum because of their almost exact same size and similar enclosure of repetitive units.
The Dominican Motherhouse-Altes Museum comparison will allow the creation of a new composite building...

animated gifs
...showing a model being pieced together part by part - Dominican Motherhouse

gallery 1999
La Villette Housing marching through the Dominican Motherhouse site.

...in 1985, requested to see all the drawings of Kahn's (unbuilt) Dominican Motherhouse... ...still have photocopies of the Kahn office drawings used to build the model.

Dominican Motherhouse, Cooper & Pratt House...

2002.12.17 17:25
Re: a Bemused Tadao Ando observation
I have studied the evolution of Kahn's architecture beyond Kahn since my own architecture thesis 1981, and Ando's Museum of Literature design appears to the a late descendant of Kahn via late 1970s Stirling and early 1980s Isozaki.
Kahn's Levy Memorial Playground designs with Isamu Noguchi (1961-66, unbuilt), and his Dominican Motherhouse of the Sisters of Saint Catherine de Ricci (1965-69, unbuilt) engendered much formal architectural play, a genealogy that goes mostly unnoticed by architectural historians. Much of Predock's, work, for example, especially "reenacts" the Levy Memorial Playground designs.
Interesting how you relate the Museum of Literature to a kind of theme park. It could easily be said that Kahn's formal playfulness was inspired by Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius, an ultimate plan of an ancient Roman theme park if there ever was one.
Saint Catherine de Ricci is a very interesting saint. I researched her recently to see if Kahn's convent design in her name might somehow relate to the saint herself. I could not discern any direct correlation, but it is worth noting that Saint Catherine de Ricci was quite the reenactor.

2003.02.12 12:33
Re: plagiarism
Tomorrow, 13 February, is the feast of St. Catherine de Ricci, whose name some may recognize from the Dominican Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Catherine de Ricci, an unexecuted design by Louis I. Kahn. St. Catherine was indeed a 'reenactor' in that she for twelve years reenacted the events leading up the Crucifixion, beginning Holy Thursday and ending Good Friday afternoon, even including the appearance of stigmata.
I have to wonder whether Kahn ever took the time to research St. Catherine de Ricci while designing the Motherhouse dedicated to the Saint. Are there perhaps clues within the convent design that may suggest Kahn was aware of the Saint? Honestly, who knows. All the same, Kahn for sure did some reenacting himself with the design (ref. Exhibit One).

2003.12.22 13:58
By the mid-1980s, I was working at/for the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Art--you see Kahn kind-of prancing around the Fine Arts campus in the film. The Kahn Collection was recently installed within the GSFA's Architectural Archives, and, since I was the resident 3D CAD expert at the time, I asked for access to the drawings of Kahn's design of the Dominican Sister's (who you also see in the film) Convent so I could then construct a 3D computer model of the unexecuted design. Julia Converse didn't allow me free access to any of the drawings done in Kahn's own hand, but I certainly spent several hours over several days going through all the office drawings relative to the project--this all predates Kent Larson's computer model construction of Hurva Synagogue; in fact, the computer model of Hurva Synagogue in Quondam's collection even predates Larson's.

2004.02.16 11:02
Re: of castles, fortifications, etc.
I told her I constructed a computer model of the project on the site, and I asked about the big hillside behind where the Motherhouse was to be. She said that was "daffodil hill" because it was covered entirely with daffodils. The Dominican Sisters sold the site (at Media, southwest of Philadelphia, just north of Delaware) in 1990; it is now developed with suburban housing.

...a full reenactment trail before and after Kahn's Media convent. ...the Institute of Contemporary Art comes before Gehry's Winton Guest House. ...include the precedents presented at thesis.

2006. 01.22 14:31
Thesis Semester [blog] 25 years ago
...a thesis project where I want to reenact Stirling's reenactionary Wissenschaftszentrum, which is itself a reenactment of Kahn's Convent for the Dominican Sisters. ...already wrote about some of this 12 July 1998.

2007.03.12 17:05
...and speaking of random tangents
Is Herzog and deMeuron's plan for the Parrish Art Museum a great great great grandchild of the Ichnographia Campi Martii? Catherine de Ricci wo bist du? ten years ago.

2007.11.03 10:25
Collage Architecture
Kahn. Dominican Sisters' Convent, 1965-68
Stirling/Wilford. Science Center, 1979-87

2008.05.29 09:27
Can you say canonical?
Moretti: Casa del Girasole (Eisenman)
Mies: Seagrams (Eisenman)
Le Corbusier: Palais des Congrès (me)
Le Corbusier: Olivetti Center Milan (me)
Kahn: Dominican Sisters Convent (me)
Venturi & Rauch: Franklin Court (me)
Stirling: Leicester Engineering (Eisenman, "Real and English")
Stirling: Nordrhein/Westfalen Museum (me)
Stirling: Wallraf-Richartz Museum (me)
Rossi: Modena Cemetery (Eisenman)
Koolhaas: Patent Office (me)
Libeskind: who cares (me)
Gehry: Wagner Residence and other residences of that era (me, just to be a bit obscure)

2010.08.17 08:46
So, How's Architecture These Days?
An excursus between 'To ERr with SuperGlue and 'Bilocation Syndrome':
1762 Ichnographia Campus Martius
1960-65 Eleanor Donnelly Erdman Hall
1960-67 Dr. and Mrs. Norman Fisher House
1965-69 The Dominican Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Catherine de Ricci
1977 UNEP Headquarters
1979 Kasperson Residence
1979 Wissenschaftzentrum
1980 The Long Gallery House
1981 Institute of Contemporary Art
1982 Cooper & Pratt House
1982-87 Winton Guest House
1993 Wacko House 002
1993 Sober House 1
1999 Infringement Complex
2001 Ten Zen Men
2001 Room with a View
2002 NATO Headquarters
2006 Parrish Art Museum
2007 Hurva Dormitories
2007 Gooding Trice House
2007 Trivilla Savoye
2008 Hospice Søndergård
2008 Art Souq
2009 Basel Burghof

2012.08.31 17:34
"The Objectification of the Deterritorialized Whole[nesses]"
Great Pyramid :: extreme wholeness
Villa Savoye :: assimilating wholeness
Medici Chapel Neue Staatsgalerie :: metabolic wholeness
Dominican Motherhouse :: pregnant wholeness
Kimbell Art Museum :: osmotic wholeness




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