A Louis Kahn Classic Renovated

 

Interior of Richards Medical Research Labs | Photo: Halkin Mason Photography

Interior of Richards Medical Research Labs | Photo: Halkin Mason Photography

  • Inga Saffron considers the University of Pennsylvania’s recent $13.4 million renovation of Towers C and D of Louis Kahn’s transformative Richards Medical Research Laboratory built in 1962. Lauded at the time by New York’s Museum of Modern Art as “the most consequential building constructed in the United States” from World War II until then, this National Historic Landmark has for a half-century maintained two parallel reputations: a marvel to the students of architecture the world over, and a well-lit misfortune to its scientists. “The renovation has pared Kahn’s spaces down to their essence, restoring a Zenlike calm, and revealing the muscular concrete structure that made the design such a revelation in the early 1960s,” says Saffron. Appropriate courtesy was also paid to Kahn’s Vierendeel trusses, here so central to his expansive design philosophy. The towers of Labs A and B will receive similar treatment during the 2018-19 fiscal year.
  • At Chinatown’s Space 1026 artist space on Arch Street, the Philadelphia Public History Truck’s Erin Bernard and Bree Lodgson are previewing their efforts in telling the surrounding neighborhood’s stories. Interactive prototypes, including comics and memory maps are on view. Member and artist Tuesday Kay tells NewsWorks that the show will also serves as an introduction to the gallery and studio space—one of the city’s oldest artist collectives—to more of its neighbors. 
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

Send a message!



Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Fear & Floating At The Gimbels Thanksgiving Day Parade

Fear & Floating At The Gimbels Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 22, 2017  |  Last Light

Michael Bixler has this tribute to the zany hometown floats of the old Gimbels Thanksgiving Day Parade > more

New Book Claims PAFA As Catalyst For Modern Design

New Book Claims PAFA As Catalyst For Modern Design

November 21, 2017  |  Walk the Walk

In his new book, "First Modern," historian George E. Thomas asserts that Frank Furness opened the door to Modernism in 1876 with his design of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Joe Brin walks us through the architectural brilliance of the nation's first art school with this review > more

After 45 Years, Brandywine Workshop Still Thinking Creatively

After 45 Years, Brandywine Workshop Still Thinking Creatively

November 20, 2017  |  Vantage

It looks quiet, but the old 19th century firehouse at 730 South Broad Street, home of Brandywine Workshop, is buzzing with art and adaptation. Contributor Karen Chernick takes us behind the blue-green doors. > more

Cret Exhibition Captures Vibrations Of The City

Cret Exhibition Captures Vibrations Of The City

November 17, 2017  |  Vantage

Illustrator Ben Leech enlivens the dying art of architectural drawing with his exhibition, "Cret Illustrated: Revisiting a Philadelphia Icon in Sketches," at Woodlands Cemetery. Michael Bixler has the preview > more

Task Force Inches Closer To Delivering

Task Force Inches Closer To Delivering “State Of Preservation” Report

November 16, 2017  |  News

Mayor Kenney's Historic Preservation Task Force convened today for their fourth official meeting. Starr Herr-Cardillo reports > more

Give $$$, Get a Cool Perk: 2017 Campaign

November 13, 2017  |  Uncategorized

  Now more than ever, independent journalism needs the support of readers like you. DONATE to the Hidden City Daily today and receive something nifty in return. > more