Louis Kahn, renowned American architect, planned the construction of numerous civic structures. Among them was public housing, viaduct systems, and streets and roads in the city of Philadelphia. He did not arrive at his distinctive modernist style till he was in his fifties. His projects since this turning point include art museums, assembly halls and libraries; religious centers and parks; and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California; and the National Assembly building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, considered the masterpiece of his career. His buildings are a concentration on space and material and weight, rejecting any overt loyalty to historical styles of architecture.
We can pursue details of Kahn’s early years, his years of education, his fonts of inspiration, his travels, his visions and his acclaim through biographies of the man and recorded interviews of his admirers and critics, but what more intimate and singular account can we find of a life than through the eyes of a person as profoundly affected and entwined as a family member? Kahn’s son, Nathaniel Kahn, spent several years assembling a narrative of his father after his death. “My Architect” provides a portrait of Louis Kahn that explores the underlying dimensions of a life popularly known but never thus witnessed.