Norman Fisher House
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Architect Louis I. Kahn
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Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania   map
Date 1960   timeline
Building Type house
 Construction System stone masonry, wood framing, wood siding
Climate temperate
Context suburban
Style Modern




Plan Drawing

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Discussion Norman Fisher House Commentary

"The house is located on a site which slopes gently down from a main road to small stream. It consists of three cubes, two large ones connected together and a small, separate one. These cubes, together with the existing trees, form two inter-connected outdoor spaces: an entrance court and a kitchen court.Two large cubes, connected diagonally, contain two distinct groups of activities. The first cube contains an entrance lobby and the master bedroom suite with dressing room and bathroom on the first floor and two smaller bedrooms on the second floor. The second cube is connected by a large opening to the entrance lobby. The two-story-high first floor contains the kitchen, and the living areas separated by a free-standing stone fireplace."

— from Heinz Ronner, with Sharad Jhaveri and Alessandro Vasella Louis I. Kahn: Complete Works 1935-74. p181.

The Creator's Words

"What a column is in steel or concrete is not yet felt as a part of us.

It must be different from stone.

Stone we know and feel its beauty.

Material we now use in architecture we know only for its superior strength but not for its meaningful form. Concrete and steel must become greater than the engineer.

The expected wonders in concrete and steel confront us. We know from the spirit of architecture that their characteristics must be in harmony with the spaces that want to be and evoke what spaces can be.

Forms and spaces today have not found their position in order though the ways of making things are new and resourceful."

— Louis I. Kahn. from Alessandra Latour, ed. Louis I. Kahn: Writings, Lectures, Interviews. p75-76.

"Architecture though I feel what is it's spirit, when asked of it's nature I have no touch with it....The pool, a chair, a school, a palace, or a factory has it's light of it's presence. If it but what it wants to be, so it can reach the house, be it ever so simple just so it's essence is it's life, is art."

— Louis I. Kahn. March 25, 1963, at Sarabhai house, Ahmedabad, India, answering to 'What is architecture?' from Heinz Ronner, with Sharad Jhaveri and Alessandro Vasella Louis I. Kahn: Complete Works 1935-74. p181.

Sources on Norman Fisher House

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. rotated geometry diagram, p192. binuclear diagram, p205. — Updated edition available at

Alessandra Latour, ed. Louis I. Kahn: Writings, Lectures, Interviews. New York: Rizzoli International, 1991. ISBN 0-8478-1331-2. LC 90-50794. NA737.K32A2 1991. p75-76.

Heinz Ronner with Sharad Jhaveri and Alessandro Vasella. Louis I. Kahn: Complete Works 1935-74. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1977. ISBN 0-89158-648-2. xNA737.K32R66. p181.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Norman Fisher House


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