Exeter Library
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Architect Louis I. Kahn
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Location Exeter, New Hampshire   map
Date 1967 to 1972   timeline
Building Type school library, academic
 Construction System reinforced concrete
Climate temperate
Context prep school campus, high school campus
Style Modern
Notes at Phillips Exeter Academy. organized around powerful central space.






Axonometric Drawing

Lower Plan Drawing

Elevation Drawing

Section Drawing

Section Drawing

Section Drawing

Site Plan Drawing

Elevation Drawing

Upper Plan Drawing

Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

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3D Model
3D Massing Model (DesignWorkshop 3dmf)

3D Spatial Model (DesignWorkshop 3dmf)

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Discussion Exeter Library Commentary

"Elemental in its contemporary directness and built also with the sense and durability of the great monuments of history is the Library at Phillips Exeter Academy. In the spirit of the grand, classical tradition of the focal organizing space, the reading room is a central hall encircled by balconies containing the stacks and study alcoves. It is a space diagonally overlooked through giant circular openings in the interior screen walls that define the central area.

"In keeping with the campus tradition, the exterior of the building is a repetition of brick piers, wider as they approach the ground where the book loads are greater, cut back at all four corners to subtly articulate the building's exterior square form.

"The perimeter study carrels are illuminated from windows above the reader's eye level; smaller windows at eye level afford views to the campus or conversely can be closed by a sliding wooden shutter for privacy and concentration. There is contact with and building upon origins in both the library and the [Kimbell] museum. They span time as an architecture of basic fact and of progression as we move onward, aware of both where we have come form and where we are."

— Paul Heyer, American Architecture: Ideas and Ideologies in the Late Twentieth Century. p279.


American Institute of Architects 25 Year Award, 1997

Sources on Exeter Library

Francis D. K. Ching. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979. ISBN 0-442-21535-5. LC 79-18045. NA2760.C46. plan, p367. — A nice graphic introduction to architectural ideas. Updated 1996 edition available at Amazon.com

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. drawing and diagrams, p54-55. — Updated edition available at Amazon.com

Howard Davis. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405.

Paul Heyer. American Architecture: Ideas and Ideologies in the Late Twentieth Century. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993. ISBN 0-442-01328-0. LC 92-18415. NA2750.H48 1993. discussion p279.

Marcus Whiffen and Frederick Koeper. American Architecture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984. interior photo, f344, p432. — An excellent survey of American architecture. Reprint Edition available at Amazon.com

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis Kahn. Philadelphia: Falcon Press, 1962.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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