Louis I. Kahn's attitude toward materials was expressed in his documented preference to allow exterior wood siding to be left unfinished and weather to a silver grey. Influenced by vernacular architecture of the American rural landscape, this natural treatment has proved a challenge for stewards, as exposure to the elements is gradually destructive. Like many works of the Modern Movement that retain their original siding, Kahn’s wood-clad structures stand at a critical crossroads where the architect’s intent and retention of fabric converge. A selected group of Kahn’s residential works are examined with respect to the architect’s employment of wood, the inherent conditions of each and the conservation efforts that are evolving in response.
Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Louis Kahn, Modern monumentality, Conservation of modern architecture, Wood architecture, Clever House, Fisher House, Korman House.