LOUIS KAHN: The Power of Architecture

Exploring Access:


9 July 2014 – 12 October 2014


This show at the Design Museum is in its last few weeks of display, and presents the work of one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century, Louis Kahn. Kahn’s early work focused on housing and urban planning, gaining a reputation in the 50’s as an architect of public buildings.

For visitors who are visually impaired or blind, the Access programme can explore a variety of narratives, giving the viewer an opportunity to look at the influence of architecture in our community, explore building design and possibly create a model of one of the iconic buildings Kahn designed. The exhibition has several drawings, prints, videos and models that can be the center of a very engaging discussion.

Kahn envisioned the house as an institution: the smallest architectural entity, from which society and built surroundings are experienced.” – Design Museum

Self-Portrait with a Pipe.  

Graphite on bond paper

Collection of Sue Ann Kahn.

This exhibition presents Kahn’s work within the framework of six central themes including the Eternal Present (which addressed fundamentals of spatial order and formal composition), Community, House (which Kahn envisioned as an institution: the smallest architectural entity, from which society and built surroundings are experienced), Landscape, Science, and City.

Structure, I believe, is the giver of light.” – L. Kahn

Levy Memorial Playground, New York.

Louis Kahn, Isamu Noguchi.

Levy Memorial Playground, New York.


Study Model, version 5


At a time when modernism had become a formula of flat roofs, and bland facades, Kahn found a way to give contemporary architecture the spiritual qualities that it had lost in the pursuit of over simplified functional demands.” – Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum

When the work is completed, the beginnings must be felt.” – L. Kahn

About Access at Design Museum.

Design Museum Touch Tour in progress

The Design Museum aims to make access to design enjoyable and welcoming to the widest possible audience. Whether you’re taking part in the dedicated Access programme or just popping in for a visit, the museum does everything it can to make sure your experience is enjoyable.

Use this link to view the Access page on the Design Museum website, which includes BSL Tours and Touch Tours: http://designmuseum.org/plan-your-visit/access