Keywords:Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing
Louis I. Kahn's attitude toward materials was expressed in his documented preference to allow exterior wood siding to be left unfinished and weather to a silver grey. Influenced by vernacular architecture of the American rural landscape, this natural treatment has proved a challenge for stewards, as exposure to the elements is gradually destructive. Like many works of the Modern Movement that retain their original siding, Kahn’s wood-clad structures stand at a critical crossroads where the architect’s intent and retention of fabric converge. A selected group of Kahn’s residential works are examined with respect to the architect’s employment of wood, the inherent conditions of each and the conservation efforts that are evolving in response.