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Wednesday30 July 2014

Kahn’s poetic moments

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In the week we review Louis Kahn’s Four Freedoms Park, we look back to when the architect received a RIBA Gold Medal in 1972

Louis Kahn, 1972

Louis Kahn, 1972

Date 1972
Architect Louis Kahn
Location RIBA Gold Medal Presentation, Portland Place

As the last of Louis Kahn’s substantial contributions to architecture, the Four Freedoms Park, is finally completed, we take a look back at the evening in 1972 when the architect was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal for his body of work. Peter Shepheard introduced Kahn as “one through whom supernatural wind seems to blow”.

BD described his acceptance speech as a collage of thoughts crystallised in poetic phrases such as “all material is light that has become exhausted… the mountains, the air and the stream are all of spent light”.

The architect had rejected his prepared speech about new towns as he decided it would be unfair to comment on an English institution without having lived here. According to Deborah Waroff who reviewed the speech, Kahn’s talk required “arduously close attention, if not actual close textual analysis”.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • tesserae

    It would have been nice t have o a bit more of this speech quoted in this article as it was such a long time ago.

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