You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn

You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn

The first biography of the iconic American architect that delves fully into his life and work

Born to a Jewish family in Estonia in 1901 and brought to America in 1906, the architect Louis Kahn grew up in poverty in Philadelphia; by the time of his death in 1974, he was widely recognized as one of the greatest architects of his era. Yet this enormous reputation was based on only a handful of masterpieces, all built during the last fifteen years of his life.

Perfectly complementing Nathaniel Kahn’s award-winning documentary, My Architect, Wendy Lesser’s You Say to Brick is a major exploration of the architect’s life and work. Kahn, perhaps more than any other twentieth-century American architect, was a “public” architect. Eschewing the usual corporate skyscrapers, hotels, and condominiums, he focused on medical and educational research facilities, government centers, museums, libraries, parks, religious buildings, and other structures that would serve the public good. Yet this warm, captivating person, beloved by students and admired by colleagues, was also a secretive and mysterious character hiding behind a series of masks.

Drawing on extensive original research; lengthy interviews with his children, his colleagues, and his students; and travel to the far-flung sites of his career-defining buildings, Lesser has written a landmark biography of this elusive man, which reveals the mind behind some of the twentieth century's most celebrated architecture.

Title:You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780374279974
Format Type:

    You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn Reviews

  • Louise

    As modern architecture looked forward to light and simple flat forms, Louis Khan looked back to castles and ancient structures. Author Wendy Lessing in showing how his aesthetic developed begins at th...

  • Adam

    I have not read many books about architecture, but I received "You Say to Brick" as a gift, and really enjoyed it. This is a very well-crafted biography of architect Louis Kahn. Author Wendy Lesser wa...

  • Ksenia Kulichik

    “You Say to Brick” is an informative, highly enjoyable book. Louis Kahn is someone I hold in great reverence, and I was nervous a biography is going to demystify this tremendous character for me i...

  • Yael

    Lesser did a beautiful job capturing the essence of Lou Kahn. This was a beautifully written, lovingly told story of a man and his milieu, both professional and social, family and business. This book ...

  • William

    I have mixed feelings about this book. There are two stories here, and they do not work equally well. The one which I enjoyed was the story of Louis Kahn the man. He comes through as a distinct and di...

  • Jill Meyer

    Wendy Lesser's "You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn", is one of the finest biographies I've read. Her subject, Louis Kahn, was a complicated man who lived an ultra-complicated life. As a world-re...

  • Russell

    I had special interest in this book since we visit the Kimbell Museum, one of Louis Kahn's masterpieces, frequently. Wendy Lesser presents a well-researched biography of this acknowledged master of 20...

  • Deborah Beatriz Blum

    YOU SAY TO BRICK is not just the story of Louis Kahn, it's the story of his buildings - buildings that have to be the most beautiful, awesome structures I've ever been inside. Lesser makes a brilliant...

  • Rob Neyer

    Lesser's biography seems to have been assiduously researched, and she's a fine writer. Much of the narrative covers Kahn's "curious personal life," but I don't know that I needed to read quite so much...

  • Linda

    Beautifully written exploration of Lou Kahn and his architecture. I like the way Wendy Lesser structures the book, with intermittent chapters exploring several of his masterworks in great detail, each...