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Monday, December 10, 2012

Kahn and Myers' Sketches... and Columns

After Myers' post-graduate education, Myers worked for Kahn for a number of years. During his early years of practice, he was influenced by some of Kahn's architectural techniques-- one of them being the sketches.

"The patience it took to build, one didn't need, for I drew it without bothering about corrections or correct proportions. I wanted only to capture the excitement in the mind of the architect. As notations in music reveal structure and composition for hearing, the plan is the score that reveals the structure and the composition of spaces in natural light. The plan expresses the limits of form." --Louis Kahn

Myers' sketch of plans and sections

Myers' floor plans in pen and crayon

Indications of "zones" in the house 

First floor plan of the Wolf House

Second floor plan

Clearly, Myers agreed with Kahn's notion and his sketches were rather brief; the purpose was to capture the moment and quickly put his thoughts on paper. The plan was his boundary and he worked within it to develop ideas. It was the same skeleton, but with iterations for growth.

One other commonality between the two architects are using crayons for sketches; crayon is a medium that cannot be erased and is quick to use. Again, it relates back to the idea of capturing the spirit of the architect  and not bothering with corrections.

Kahn's sketch 1

Kahn's sketch 2

Myers' sketch from the 19 Berryman St. house

Myers' sketch of a section from the 19 Berryman St. house

One other architectural characteristic of Kahn is that he detested mechanical works in homes and liked to seclude them.

"I do not like ducts; I do not like pipes. I hate them really throughly, but because I hate them so thoroughly, I feel they have to be given their place. If I just hated them and took no care, I think they would invade the building and completely destroy it. I want to correct any notion you may have that I am in love with that kind of thing." --Louis Kahn

Myers, however, had a different notion and exposed the mechanical and electrical systems within the interior of the home to use it as sophisticated decorative elements. This was an interesting approach but completely against Kahn's preference.

Kahn had a preference for columns. In Myers' case the steel columns were used for constructional purpose, taking in consideration of the site context, but it is unsure whether it was used also because he was fond of columns. 

"It reminded me that joint is the beginning of ornament... Now the column formed a space itself designed to serve the greater space." --Louis Kahn

Steel frame used for the Wolf House

As Kahn said, the steel frame was used to serve greater space; a glass box was added under the columns to create an additional living room during the 2008 renovation.


The house Myers pictured in his head matches perfectly with the final outcome.

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