“What’s so great about this building” my dad asks as he shivers outside the Kimbell Art Museum. “It’s amazing.” I respond, sweating from running laps around the building and taking pictures of every nook and cranny I can find – the details I imagine Louis Kahn spent hours resolving. This is why my family doesn’t like for me to bring a camera on family trips. We’re outside the closed museum in late December and I’m pleading to stay “just five more minuets” after having already spent over an hour taking pictures. Sometimes I wish my family would “get it” and share my enthusiasm for a nice handrail. Still, there are times when it’s hard for me to appreciate a project and I switch places with my dad: “What is so great about this?” I wonder.
That’s why I’m glad I came across these photos taken by Josh Terr of Le Corbusier’s La Tourette along with the story of his experience staying at the monastery for three days. I’ve known why I am supposed to find this building significant for years, but it’s only after seeing these photos that I can see the relation to actually experiencing the building. There are surprising details and vivid details in his account about showering in the building or standing in his room and touching both walls with his hands, but mostly the photographs are stunning. It’s hard to believe he doesn’t consider himself much of an architecture photographer and posts the pictures to his site directly from his camera without editing.