Helmut Jahn

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Works Kemper Arena, at Kansas City, Missouri, 1974
United Airlines Terminal, O'Hare, at Chicago, Illinois, 1985 to 1988
Sony Center, at Berlin, Germany   Photo at ArchitectureWeek
HALO Neadquarters, at Nilo, Illinois.  Photo at ArchitectureWeek
Bayer Headquarters, at Leverkusen, Germany.  Photo at ArchitectureWeek
Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, at Chicago, Illinois, 2011.  Article at ArchitectureWeek

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Helmut Jahn

(b. Nuremberg, Germany 1940)

Helmut Jahn was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1940. From 1960 to 1965 he trained at the Technische Hochschule in Munich, after which he emigrated to the U.S. where he spent a year at the Illinois Institute of Technology studying under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. In 1967 he joined the office of C.F. Murphy Associates and six years later became partner and Director of Design. The practice was renamed Murphy/Jahn in 1981.

During the 1960s the firm designed some of the more distinguished buildings in Chicago using a vocabulary of Miesian geometry. In later works Jahn's rigid adherence to pure Modernist doctrine lessened as he began to embrace an architectural philosophy which stressed the intuitive nature of creative rationalism. This shift led to a more flexible approach to design and, to some, signalled a decisive break with the formal ideology of high Modernism.

Using a "variable, wide-ranging architectural language" to describe a buildings' contextual relationship, Jahn generated a symbolic code intended to be appreciated by both professional architects and the general public.

Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p81.


Murphy/Jahn   Murphy/Jahn at Archiplanet
35 East Wacker Drive
Illinois 60601
vox 312.427.7300
fax 312 332 0274

Resources Sources on Helmut Jahn

"AIA's Best New Buildings from Chicago", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 542, 2011.1207, pN1.1.

"AIA Honors Calatrava, Murphy/Jahn", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 226, 2005.0202, pN1.1.

"Doubly Transparent", by John Durbrow, ArchitectureWeek No. 232, 2005.0316, pB1.1.

"AIA Honor Awards 2004", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 181, 2003.0211, Bayer Headquarters, pN1.2.

"AIA Honor Awards 2004", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 181, 2003.0211, The Deutsche Post, pN1.3.

"The New Modernism of Helmut Jahn", by Michael J. Crosbie, ArchitectureWeek No. 106, 2002.0717. p1.

Michael J. Crosbie. Murphy/Jahn: Six Works. Millenium Series, Images Publishing, June 2002. ISBN 1-87690-714-2.   Available at   Find books about Helmut Jahn

Search the RIBA architecture library catalog for more references on Helmut Jahn

Web Resources Links on Helmut Jahn

murphyjahn.comthe architect's own web site.

Articles on Helmut Jahn at ArchitectureWeek.

Helmut Jahn at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

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