Barney Kulok: Building

Louis I. Kahn at Roosevelt Island


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ISBN: 9781597112253 Categories: ,

Steven Holl


In September 2011 Barney Kulok was granted special permission to create photographs at the construction site of Louis I. Kahnʼs Four Freedoms Park in New York City, commissioned in 1970 as a memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt. The last design Kahn completed before his untimely death in 1974, Four Freedoms Park became widely regarded as one of the great unbuilt masterpieces of twentieth-century architecture. Almost forty years after having been commissioned, it is finally being completed this year, as originally intended. Kulokʼs black-and-white photographs function as a meditation on the materiality and formal underpinnings of Kahnʼs theories. More than that, they are a statement about the value of carefully measured photographic seeing at a time when the instant digital photo and its accompanying host of nostalgic filters has become the common currency of the medium. Unbuilt is at once a historical record and a multilayered visual investigation of form and the subtleties of texture-elements that were of fundamental importance to Kahnʼs phenomenal achievements. As architect Steven Holl writes, “Kulokʼs photographs free the subject matter from a literal interpretation of the site. They stand as ʻEquivalentsʼ to the words about material, light, and shadow that Louis Kahn often spoke.”

Additional information

Weight 1032 g
Dimensions 30.9 x 27.7 cm
Publisher name Aperture Foundation
Publication date 21 March 2013
Number of pages 96
Format Hardback
Contributors Photographs by Barney Kulok
Dimensions 30.9 x 27.7 cm
Weight 1032 g