beauty in brutalism : architecture & photography : louis kahn visual archive by naquib hossain

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louis kahn by naquib hossain via oen

here are some incredible images of buildings designed by the great architect Louis Kahn, photographed by Naquib Hossain.

Interestingly enough the pictures on the website were shot using an old Minolta SLR and colour slide film, most of the black and white photographs were taken with Agfa Scala film. Obviously, I couldn’t present these exact photographs as they’re a lot smaller in size, but Naquib also has a nice selection on his Flickr page for us to peruse and I’m really chuffed to present them here on the site! The buildings are monumental to the least, the shapes and textures are just mind blowing. A true genius at work. In terms of photography I’m undecided which collection I like best, I think the film camera brings an interesting element to the whole Louis Kahn experience. It’s almost as if it adds an extra dimension and unveils new details and textures that you wouldn’t see otherwise. I guess it also takes you back to the original drawings and how it would of been imagined in his brain as a designer.

Although his works are big in stature and can often be brutalist on the eyes, Louis had a way of using abstract shapes that gave buildings depth and detail. An interesting concept that I’ve been drawn to lately is the idea of “bearing all the scars”, I saw this first through ceramic/pottery work and it made a good link through to architecture as well. Lo and behold, whilst watching a Louis Kahn documentary they talked about this exact same idea and how Louis used it in his own works. In my eyes this links back to various other concepts that I’ve personally surrounded myself with, embracing time and progression, celebrating cracks and natural marks, also the weathered look that appears due to time and use. Maybe this is a way of thinking rather than a design principle, but I think it affects the final piece in some way or another and you can see it throughout the builds here. It’s not often that I have my breathe taken away, but these builds are sure to do that, so why not have a look around on the Louis Kahn Visual Archive to see if anything takes your fancy in terms of inspiration. Enjoy!

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