Encyclopedia Ichnographica

Kahn, Louis I.


Kahn, Louis I.

Re: a Bemused Tadao Ando observation
2002.12.17 17:25

Interesting how you relate the Museum of Literature to a kind of themepark. It could easily be said that Kahn's formal playfulness was inspired by Piranesi's Ichnographia Campi Martii, an ultimate plan of an ancient Roman themepark if there ever was one.

cloning architecture - a global search
2004.06.16 05:53

On the Campo Marzio issue, I've (already) compiled a bibliography of architectural literature on Piranesi's large plan. Briefly, before Tafuri there is Fasolo in 1956 (who Tafuri in places reiterates, but he did not note any of the 1956 mistakes), and Scully on Kahn in 1962. Tafuri's Architecture and Utopia was first published in Italian in 1973, and his The Sphere and the Labyrinth was first published in Italian in 1980. Since 1980, most architectural writers have sprouted off the Tafuri branch, and there is only one architectural writer who, in 1981, began to sprout off Kahn's branch of investigation entwined with reenactment.

Re: Ichnographia Romaphilia
2004.12.16 13:56

While working with Piranesi the discussion is often enlightening.

"So why exactly did you produce two versions of the Ichnographia Campus Martius and keep everyone none the wiser?"

"Overall, I just wanted to see who would find the two versions first. They were found, eventually (after more than two hundred years), but it's embarrassing for all the Piranesi "scholars" because it wasn't one of them."

"Why do you think the so-called scholars failed? Why did they not see what was always right in front of them?

"Simply put, they never reenacted the source."

"Kahn reenacted the source, and he didn't see the two versions."

"Well, I'd say Kahn was busy manifesting new versions of his own."

"Perhaps it's just plain destiny that Philadelphia itself reenacts the source."

"You know, I love you guys like brothers."

"That's fine as long as you realize that we're all independent as well."

"Ha, tell that to Romulus and Remus."

S + M + L = QBVS

Hi Steve:
I had taken out Scully's American Architecture and Urbanism. On page 224 I noticed this picture--don't know if you had seen it before. Contrary to what the caption says, Kahn's plan for Philadelphia was not "drawn over" the Piranesi plan: it's plain to see from the photo that it was just pinned over it. It's a very interesting picture in light of what you have since done: Kahn simply covered over his Campo Marzio with the Philadelphia plan, whereas you have actually conjoined them.

Thanks Tony. I've never noticed the image on page 224 before. It's neat, too, to see that Kahn had a copy of the Ichnographia Campi Martii in its second state.



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