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News > Chapter News > New edition of The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn, with an all-new Reader's Guide

New edition of The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn, with an all-new Reader's Guide

Please note, AIA Philadelphia members have a special discount available for the book sets.

New Haven, CT (April 18, 2022) — This spring, the Yale Center for British Art, in association with Yale University Press, and in collaboration with the publisher Designers & Books, will release a facsimile edition of The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn. Created by Richard Saul Wurman, along with printer Eugene Feldman, and first issued by Falcon Press in 1962, the book is one of the earliest published acknowledgments of the genius of modern architect Louis I. Kahn (1901–1974).

With the original edition long out of print, the 2022 facsimile is accompanied by an all-new Reader’s Guide that provides a rich context for understanding Kahn’s art and his thinking. The Reader’s Guide includes writings by a variety of critics and colleagues as well as Kahn’s personal recollections and unpublished speeches. It also features sketches from Kahn’s travels and drawings related to selected projects, many of them previously unpublished.

Wurman, a former student of Kahn who was employed in his Philadelphia office, personally selected the drawings for the book. “I didn’t choose what were considered his best, most finished drawings,” Wurman shared. “I chose those that spoke to me—much in the same way that Lou would say you had a conversation with a building . . . the drawings that told me what they were trying to be.”

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn contains a section of travel sketches from the 1950s depicting sites in Greece, Egypt, Italy, and France that reflect Kahn’s abiding interest in interpreting monumental forms. Another section features early drawings and renderings for well-known projects, including: the Sculpture Garden at the Yale University Art Gallery; the A. N. Richards Medical Research Building (Laboratories) at the University of Pennsylvania; the General Motors Exhibition Building for the 1964 New York World’s Fair; and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California; as well as visionary studies for the Philadelphia city center.

The facsimile edition and Reader’s Guide are produced with the approval and cooperation of Wurman, Nathaniel Kahn, Sue Ann Kahn, Alexandra Tyng, and the Louis I. Kahn Collection at the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania.

Visit britishart.yale.edu/museum-shop to purchase the book.


related online program

Friday, August 5, noon
at home: Book Discussion | The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn
Richard Saul Wurman in discussion with information architect Dan Klyn

Please visit britishart.yale.edu for the most up-to-date information.


key specifications for the facsimile of
the notebooks and drawings of Louis I. Kahn

15 x 11.2 inches, vertical
96 pages, including four gatefolds
76 drawings

Two sections: section 1 contains a group of sketches produced at actual size; section  2 includes a group of Kahn’s early sketches and finished renderings of buildings and visions.

Interspersed throughout with text-based largely on transcriptions of unpublished speeches given between 1960 and 1962. Also includes selections from Kahn’s Voice of America broadcast, his Universal Atlas Cement Company folder, the Museum of Modern Art booklet on the Richards Medical Research Building, and an introduction written for the second edition of the book.

Casebound, cream-colored linen cloth-covered front and back covers, front cover stamped in gold with detail of stylized trees from a sketch related to Kahn’s vision for the Yale University Art Gallery.

key specifications for the readers’ guide

15 x 11.2 inches, vertical
120 pages

New writings from Richard Saul Wurman; William Whitaker (Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania, Louis I. Kahn Collection); Louis Kahn’s three children—Nathaniel Kahn, Sue Ann Kahn, and Alexandra Tyng; Larry Korman (owner of the Kahn Korman House); Courtney J. Martin (Paul Mellon Director, Yale Center for British Art); Jonathan Salk (son of Jonas Salk); Peter Reed (former Senior Deputy for Curatorial Affairs, Museum of Modern Art, NY); critic Paul Goldberger; architect and scholar Mark Gunderson; information architect Dan Klyn; and Jochen Eisenbrand (Chief Curator, Vitra Design Museum), among others.

Tributes from architects who have been winners of the Louis I. Kahn Award: David Adjaye, Tadao Ando, David Chipperfield, Peter Eisenman, Ted Flato, Norman Foster; Jeanne Gang, Frank Gehry, Nicholas Grimshaw, Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind, Thom Mayne, Antoine Predock, Moshe Safdie, Denise Scott Brown, Robert A. M. Stern, Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, and Rafael Viñoly.

Numerous images (many previously unpublished) and additional archival material from the Louis I. Kahn Collection at the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania and from Richard Saul Wurman’s personal collection.

Trade paperback with matte black covers, front cover stamped in silver with a detail of stylized trees from a sketch related to Kahn’s vision for the Yale University Art Gallery.


about designers & books

Designers & Books publishes titles on architecture and design, in special hardcover and trade paperback editions. It is dedicated to books that stimulate both the mind and the senses, with written content of consequence, compelling visuals, and beautiful and thoughtfully chosen production materials.

about yale university press

Founded in 1908, Yale University Press is one of the largest and most distinguished American university presses. By publishing serious works that contribute to a global understanding of human affairs, Yale University Press aids in the discovery and dissemination of light and truth, lux et veritas, which is a central purpose of Yale University. The publications of the Press are books and other materials that further scholarly investigation, advance interdisciplinary inquiry, stimulate public debate, educate both within and outside the classroom, and enhance cultural life. In its commitment to increasing the range and vigor of intellectual pursuits within the university and elsewhere, Yale University Press continually extends its horizons to embody university publishing at its best.

about the yale center for british art

The YCBA is a museum that houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom, encompassing works in a range of media from the fifteenth century to the present. It offers a vibrant program of events and exhibitions year-round both in-person and online. Opened to the public in 1977, the YCBA’s core collection and landmark building— designed by architect Louis I. Kahn—were a gift to Yale University from the collector and philanthropist Paul Mellon (Yale College, Class of 1929). Visit the museum at British art. yale.edu, and connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube @yalebritishart.

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