How much do you know about the life and work of architect Louis Kahn?

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What was Louis Kahn's birth name?

What was Kahn's architectural style characterized by?

What did Kahn found in 1935?

Where did Kahn work as a professor of architecture?

What prestigious awards was Kahn awarded?

Where did Kahn develop his distinctive architectural style?

What did the Architectural Research Group produce?

Where did Kahn die?

What is the legacy of Kahn's work?


Louis Kahn: The Estonian-American Architect (1901-1974)

  • Kahn was a Philadelphia-based American architect, born in Estonia and originally named Itze-Leib Schmuilowsky.
  • He founded his own design firm in 1935, but also worked as a professor of architecture at Yale School of Architecture and the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Kahn's style was characterised by heavy, monolithic buildings that did not conceal their weight or materials.
  • He was awarded the AIA Gold Medal and the RIBA Gold Medal.
  • Kahn was considered by some "America's foremost living architect" at the time of his death.
  • Kahn was born into a poor Jewish family in Estonia, and emigrated to the US in 1906.
  • He excelled in art as a child, and eventually studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts.
  • Kahn worked on the designs for the 1926 Sesquicentennial Exposition as a senior draftsman, and later worked with architects Paul Philippe Cret and Zantzinger, Borie and Medary in Philadelphia.
  • He founded the Architectural Research Group in 1932, which produced unbuilt schemes for public housing.
  • Kahn's distinctive architectural style developed later in life, after he was influenced by his stay at the American Academy in Rome.
  • He taught at Yale University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology before returning to Philadelphia to teach at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Kahn was awarded the Frank P. Brown Medal, made a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects.
  • He had three children with three women, and died of a heart attack in Penn Station in Manhattan in 1974.
  • Kahn's work continues to influence contemporary architects and provoke controversy.


Test your knowledge on the life and work of Louis Kahn, the Estonian-American architect known for his heavy, monolithic buildings and unique style. Discover how he rose to become one of America's foremost architects, and learn about his most famous designs. From the Sesquicentennial Exposition to the University of Pennsylvania, explore the legacy of this influential figure in the world of architecture. Take the quiz now and see how much you know about the life and work of Louis Kahn!

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