I came to know Louis Kahn at the Design Museum, London. This little museum held an exhibition called the power of architecture and introduced him and his work.
Louis Kahn (1901-74) was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. With complex spatial compositions and a choreographic mastery of light, Kahn created buildings of archaic beauty and powerful universal symbolism. His work impacted many of his contemporaries and still serves today as a model and measure among architects, expecially those of the younger generation.
Kahn’s acclaim is based on a small number of buildings that were elected over a short time period of just 25 years. While his early work focused on housing and urban planning in his home city of Philadelphia, he started to gain a worldwide reputation toward the end of the 1950s as an architect of public buildings. Kahn designed museum, laboratories, schools, churches, synagogues, and even a national parliament. For a long time he was exclusively active in the USA, yet his later work took an an increasingly global dimension. Consequently, two of his most important projects were executed in India and Bangladesh – the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad (1962-74) and the National Assembly building in Dhaka (1962-83).
Toronto has many traditional buildings with a modern twist. The house previously used for Rotman Designworks studio was a good example. From the outside, it was a plain three-story house. However, it had interesting modern flavors inside: boards were installed on the white walls, desks and chairs ran on wheels, and newly installed toilette were clean.
I searched for compatible Korean examples for the past couple of years and finally found a right one. It is a small resort called Gurume (“into the clouds” in Korean). It opened July in 2014 at Andong, about 4 hours drive from Seoul. Kimchimari, a blogger, said
it consists of 7 different historical Korean homes with their ages ranging from 200-400 years old. Each home has been relocated from their original location to the resort as vacation villas for people to experience first hand how Korean scholars lived centuries ago.
I stayed a night at one of the historical Korean homes and enjoyed its traditional – and modern aspects. As for the traditional aspects, I enjoyed the rich scent surrounded by the wood materials, cool breeze naturally created through the middle space of the house, and the soothing sounds from the nature with the super-bright moon shine at night. As for the modern aspects, I loved everything about bathroom; a newly installed basin, a shower with high water pressure, and the Aesop shampoo. I found that although I want to travel in the past and enjoy tradition, I do not want to sacrifice the convenience the modern society provides. When marketers and designers aim to create a unique experience either by putting nostalgic flavor to the common products or by adding modern twist on the historically preserved concepts, they should focus on how modernity can eliminate inconvenience.