37¢ Phillips Exeter Academy Library
Modern American Architecture
Issue Date: May 19, 2005
City: Las Vegas, NV
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10.75 x 11
Phillips Exeter Academy Library
Phillips Exeter Academy Library in Exeter, New Hampshire, finished in 1971, was designed by Louis I. Kahn. It has a brick exterior like the school’s other buildings, but there the resemblance ends. The entire library is load-bearing masonry, with the interior floors, walls, columns, and bracing made of reinforced concrete.
The powerful space of the central reading room is encircled by balconies of shelving which can hold 250,000 books. The seating can accommodate nearly half the Academy’s students. Study carrels line the perimeter of the building, where small windows at eye level can be closed by sliding wooden shutters.
Louis Kahn (1901-74) emigrated with his family from Estonia to Philadelphia in 1905. He showed talent as an artist at an early age, but wanted to be an architect. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania and worked for several Philadelphia firms designing public housing before practicing on his own.
Buildings of Louis Kahn’s “Philadelphia School” style of architecture differ from the steel-and-glass forms of the International Style. Kahn used brick and poured-in-place concrete to develop an architecture that united modernism with the most enduring elements of traditional buildings.