Kahn’s Esherick House on the Block


The lucky winner of Wright‘s May 18 auction of Louis Kahn‘s Esherick House will get more than a monumental yet intimate Philadelphia dwelling. Along with built-in bookshelves as far as the eye can see, a zippy vertical of a chimney, and windows framed in Apitong wood, the victorious bidder will have a series of striking photographs of the house by photographer Todd Eberle and an essay about it by critic Julie V. Iovine, the delightful executive editor of The Architect’s Newspaper. Auction house Wright commissioned the words and images for its Esherick House sale catalogue, which also includes extensive historical documentation.

“Photographing Kahn’s Esherick house was the first time that I have seen such a clarity of space and volume since the early nineties when I photographed Donald Judd‘s work in architecture in Marfa,” notes Eberle. “The house is a monument to Kahn’s rigorous vision, which made me fully grasp Judd’s deep admiration of Kahn.”

Eberle’s glorious photos of the house reveal the reverence for geometry that Kahn shared with Judd and how Kahn, like Judd, mastered strong, no-nonsense compositions that read as tranquil rather than harsh. Here’s our favorite shot:

(Todd Eberle).jpg

Ownership of Kahn’s Esherick House? Estimated at between $2 million and $3 million. Having Eberle’s photos of your home in the family album? Priceless.