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Laura & Louis

(Some more for all those out there with an interest in architectural modernism, and MrWalker, with warnings of lots of Doshi and Le Corbusier to come...)


I'd always liked the look of a lot of Louis Kahn's works, but hadn't gone to the effort of actually looking them up in any great detail. I became considerably more interested after seeing the wonderful My Architect, but hearing that there was a management school in Ahmedabad by the man himself did nothing to prepare me for the enormity of the Indian Institute of Management - it's huge!


...And very Kahnian. The whole campus is defined from only two materials - bricks and concrete. And the concrete is used only as a tension support underneath brick arches. It's a very honest expression of the structural qualities of the materials, and though simple, its rigourous use throught the whole range of buildings on campus creates a real feeling of completeness.


Scales vary hugely, from large, monumental formal spaces to cosy leafy squares between residential blocks. Levels vary too - you find yourself emerging from pathways onto first or second floor balconies overlooking plazas or lawns. The whole place was calm and studious. I found a page with some more photos of the campus and buildings here, and you can see it from the air here.


Basically I really liked it. It doesn't blow your mind or anything, but it seemed to work very nicely.

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Taken on November 5, 2006