当回顾早期的住宅设计时，他对空间的优先次序和组织的演变变得显而易见。人们开始看到他的思维过程，从早期的方案开始，这些方案往往在形式上是独特的，但对路易斯康的空间组合是固有的。随着结构的发展，在特定的时期内，所有的布局都开始符合康的自己的语言。例如，20世纪40年代末的两项设计体现了路易斯康的早期方法和组织推理。 埃赫里住宅 Ehle House (1947-48)和 威斯住宅 Weiss House (1948-50)总结了他的时代设计的独特特点。结构的直线形式利用了相似功能的聚类，形成一对由过渡循环空间连接的体量。
当从卡恩的职业生涯和全球建筑社区的角度来审视他的住宅设计时，特定同时代人的影响在他的作品中变得显而易见。正是这些影响与他自己对建筑和生活的看法的结合，帮助他形成了自己的建筑个性。从奥瑟住宅(1940年至1942年)开始，使用纹理木材和石头点缀现代主义主题，可以与乔治·豪(George Howe)的“方形阴影”(Washerman house)和一些柯布西耶的项目相比较。 埃赫里住宅 、韦斯住宅 和杰尼尔住宅 Genel House在两位包豪斯大师沃尔特·格罗皮乌斯和马塞尔·布鲁尔的指导下，展示了安妮·丁及其在哈佛大学的研究生教育对她的巨大影响。即使卡恩在20世纪50年代开始真正形成自己的风格，布鲁尔对丁格的影响和丁格对路易斯康的影响始终产生共鸣。布劳耶在盖勒住宅(1945)采用蝴蝶屋顶来打破立面的水平感，这似乎是路易斯康和泰恩在艾尔和韦斯住宅中模仿的。双核计划，也许是布鲁尔最常用的装置，不仅创造了“生活”和“睡眠”空间之间的界限，而且组织了体量，将室内和室外的生活空间融为一体。
From the beginning of Kahn’s professional career he had a ‘typical’ approach to each design process; the approach was hardly usual in the traditional sense, as Kahn worked in a manner native only to him. In regards to his method, he was quoted in 1973 as saying, “I always start with a square, no matter what the problem is.” From the square, Kahn would rationalize the spaces based on his justification that the programs would evolve into ‘what they wanted to be’. He always felt it was his duty to re-evaluate every program, regardless of budget, to identify the essential aspects of each project, a product of Kahn’s hypercritical tendency as a designer that led to the downfall of countless commissions.
If anything, Kahn hybridized the bubble diagram, orienting the desired programmatic elements in a fashion that followed his logical clustering of functions. The most important aspect of a building’s organization lay in the relationship between ‘served’ and ‘servant’ spaces; in terms of residential structures, the ‘served’ being bedrooms and living rooms and the ‘servant’ being the kitchen and bathrooms.
When one reviews Kahn’s early residential designs, the evolution of his prioritization and organization of spaces becomes readily apparent. One begins to see his thought process, beginning with the early schemes that are often unique in form but indigenous to Kahn’s rationalization of spaces. As the development of the structure progresses, the layouts all begin to conform to maxims native to Kahn during the specific period. For instance, two late 1940’s designs typify Kahn’s early approach and organizational reasoning. The unbuilt Harry Ehle house (1947-48) and the Morton Weiss house (1948-50) summarize the distinctive characteristics of his period designs. The rectilinear forms of the structures utilized a clustering of similar functions, resulting in a pair of volumes joined by a transitional circulation space.
Both the Ehle and Weiss houses are L-shaped in plan; the aforementioned clustering of related functions resulted in the separation of ‘living’ and ‘sleeping’ volumes. While both houses are similar in organization and form, the later Weiss house’s form truly begins to show Kahn’s rationalization of ‘served’ and ‘servant’ spaces. Kahn situates the spaces in a linear fashion, aligning the two cubic volumes – living and sleeping – beside one another. The volumes are connected by an additional servant space, which contains bathrooms and closets. Although the transitional space – predominately entry and passage, with a full bathroom – is a functional connection between both volumes, Kahn still appeared hung up on the idea of a multi-service entry space.
It is during this period that Kahn began to employ a bi-nuclear plan to his residential structures – in other words, two distinct volumes separated by their assigned functions, which Kahn termed ‘living’ and ‘sleeping’. From there, Kahn formulated an oriented relationship between the two and connected them by way of a multi-function entryway. In almost every instance, the volume is identical in its placement and use. Where Kahn appears to mature and understand the use of the entry element is at the Norman Fisher house (1960-67), where he treats it as a hallway that is a part of one volume rather than a linkage between the two. Not only is it a more efficient gesture, but it maintains its utility while harmoniously integrating the two juxtaposed cubes.
Nevertheless, the transitional use of the connective ‘hyphen’ continues into Kahn’s design for the Richards Medical Towers (1957-64), where a collection of square elements (in plan) are connected by pseudo-hyphens clustered into a single vertical shaft. It is unclear whether the traditionalism of the hyphen had any semblance of being within Kahn’s use of this connection, or whether it was simply a solution devoid of any historicism. Possibly Kahn’s use of the form was similar to the historic use of the hyphen, simply as a rational solution to the problem of separating served and servant spaces. From a modular standpoint – especially in regards to projects like Richards, which had the prospect of future additions built into its form – the hyphens make a lot of sense based on the simplicity and freedom of their use. It would appear that Kahn began to understand the connectivity between the past and the present, much in line with the theories of Cret.Brownlee notes, “Kahn insisted that the Weiss house, with its bold use of local stonework and untinted wood, was ‘contemporary but does not break with tradition.’ Citing the example of Pennsylvania barns in support of this position, [Kahn] argued that ‘the continuity between what was valid yesterday and what is valid today is considered by every thinking architect.’”
When looking at Kahn’s residential designs in the context of both his career and the global architectural community, the influence of specific contemporaries become apparent in his works. It was the combination of these influences with his own views on architecture and living that helped formulate his personal architectural identity. Beginning with the Jesse Oser house (1940-42), the use of textured wood and stone with interspersed Modernist motifs warrants comparison to George Howe’s “Square Shadows” (Washerman House) and a number of Corbusian projects (Fig. 1.9).40 The Ehle, Weiss, and the Samuel Genel house (1948-51) exhibit the strong influence of Anne Tyng and her graduate education at Harvard under two Bauhaus Masters, Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. Even as Kahn began to truly formulate his own style in the 1950’s, the influence of Breuer on Tyng and Tyng’s influence on Kahn resonate throughout.41 Breuer’s implementation of the butterfly roof at the Geller house (1945) to break up the horizontality of the elevation was seemingly mimicked by Kahn and Tyng at both the Ehle and Weiss houses. The bi-nuclear plan, perhaps Breuer’s most common device, not only created a delineation between ‘living’ and ‘sleeping’ spaces, but organized the volumes to integrate indoor and outdoor living spaces.
Pierson William Booher. (2009). Louis Kahn’s Fisher House: A Case Study on The Architectural Detail and Design Intent.Theses. University of Pennsylvania.