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National Assembly Building of Bangladesh, Louis Kahn (finished 1982)
This building, completed scarcely a decade after Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan, is a great source of pride and testament to the Bangladeshi people. Although this beautiful work falls into the category of modern architecture, it does not have the typically smooth, sleek white surfaces of Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, etc, it is entirely rationalistic and pure. As with all of Kahn’s buildings, light was a central feature in the design.
“In the assembly I have introduced a light-giving element to the interior of the plan. If you see a series of columns you can say that the choice of columns is a choice in light. The columns as solids frame the spaces of light. Now think of it just in reverse and think that the columns are hollow and much bigger and that their walls can themselves give light, then the voids are rooms, and the column is the maker of light and can take on complex shapes and be the supporter of spaces and give light to spaces. I am working to develop the element to such an extent that it becomes a poetic entity which has its own beauty outside of its place in the composition. In this way it becomes analogous to the solid column I mentioned above as a giver of light.”
- Louis Kahn