The Structure of Light: Richard Kelly and the Illumination of Modern Architecture

The Structure of Light: Richard Kelly and the Illumination of Modern Architecture

Hardback Yale School of Architecture

Edited by Dietrich Neumann, Contributions by Sandy Isenstadt, Contributions by Phyllis Lambert, Contributions by Margaret Maile-Petty, Contributions by Matthew Tanteri, Contributions by Michelle Addington, Foreword by Robert A. M. Stern

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  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 250mm x 272mm x 22mm | 1,361g
  • Publication date: 25 January 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New Haven
  • ISBN 10: 0300163703
  • ISBN 13: 9780300163704
  • Illustrations note: 131 black-&-white illustrations + 114 colour images
  • Sales rank: 487,077

Product description

The potential of electric light as a new building "material" was recognized in the 1920s and became a useful design tool by the mid-century. Skillful lighting allowed for theatricality, narrative, and a new emphasis on structure and space. The Structure of Light tells the story of the career of Richard Kelly, the field's most influential figure. Six historians, architects, and practitioners explore Kelly's unparalleled influence on modern architecture and his lighting designs for some of the 20th century's most iconic buildings: Philip Johnson's Glass House; Louis Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum; Eero Saarinen's GM Technical Center; and Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building, among many others. This beautifully illustrated history demonstrates the range of applications, building types, and artistic solutions he employed to achieve a "nocturnal modernity" that would render buildings evocatively different at night. The survival of Kelly's rich correspondence and extensive diaries allows an in-depth look at the triumphs and uncertainties of a young profession in the making. The first book to focus on the contributions of a master in the field of architectural lighting, this fascinating volume celebrates the practice's significance in modern design.

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Author information

Dietrich Neumann is Royce Family Professor for the History of Modern Architecture and Urban Studies at Brown University. Robert A.M. Stern is dean of the Yale School of Architecture.

Review quote

"This book will delight historians of modern architecture and design before the advent of postmodernism."-Library Journal Library Journal