PhD in Architecture

Challenging Modernism: The Architectural Facade of Philadelphia School

Spavit Darnthamrongkul

Spavit Darnthamrongkul is a PhD Candidate in Architecture History and Theory at the University of Pennsylvania.

The dissertation topic addresses the definition and idea of architectural facade: how can facade be explained? and what should facade be? The study mainly focuses on the idea of facade and the works of Louis Kahn and Robert Venturi who have been considered as key figures of Philadelphia School. By 1950s, Kahn initially developed his principle of architecture, so did Venturi in the late 1950s. They both intended to find the novel path of architecture in order to escape modern architecture’s tenet. While Kahn delved into the spatial organization and Venturi went to the world of symbolism, they used facade as one of their departure means. The study also argues that although their directions are different, they share some ideas of facade and aspects of their works.