The Philadelphia School, deterritorialized


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Louis I. Kahn

AFL Medical Service Plan Building

1999.11.11 10:38
Kahn as anti-modernist
From what I remember, one of the Kahn buildings analyzed in McBride's article is the AFL Medical Service Plan Building 1954-56. Unfortunately, this building was demolished in 1973, and doubly unfortunate because the building was indeed unusual in terms of how we remember Kahn's work. Looking at photographs of the building now, it appears latter-day 1990s--kind of Koolhaas, kind of Herzog & de Meuron--but pure Kahn (of the 1950s) nonetheless. The AFL building is a little after Kahn's Yale Art Gallery (1950-53), but seems prescient of Kahn's Yale Center for British Art (1969-74) (across the street from the Yale Art Gallery).
Maybe Kahn as anti-modern really means that Kahn was (as is often the case) ahead of his time.
Kahn's AFL Medical Service Plan Building was in Philadelphia, on the south side of the 1300 block of Vine Street.

2008.05.16 10:29
Now try taking it to court.
I see a lot of late Le Corbusier meets universal Mies van der Rohe meets early planning Louis I. Kahn in the work of OMA, etc. Just one recent example: look at Kahn's Midtown [Philadelphia] Development (1956-57) and OMA's Quartier des Halles Urban Development Study (2003-04). And every time I now see Kahn's AFL-CIO Medical Services Center, I immediately also think of Herzog & de Meuron. There's a lot of mostly untapped inspiration within the unbuilt and lesser known architectural designs of the 20th century.



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