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Exploring Kahn’s life and work through architectural models, original drawings, travel sketches, photographs and films.

Described in his New York Times' obituary as one of America’s foremost living architects, Kahn was known for his monumental, modernist designs. An artist and a perfectionist his structures were always meticulously built, and drew on a range of eclectic influences; from ancient ruins to the DNA double helix and primary geometry. Yet, despite a long and prestigious career, when Kahn died in 1974 – a heart attack in the restroom of Penn Station in New York – it was revealed he was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Kahn believed that architects have an important social responsibility and spent his career seeking to create design that 'grows out of a sense of place'. Divided into six broad themes, the display explores his relationship with his adopted home city Philadelphia, his use of engineering and geometric structure and the importance of nature in his work. It also features examples of both his residential and public commissions, and the impact these have had on local communities.

Kahn's work inspired – and continues to inspire – many prominent architects. Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor and Sou Fujimoto are among those who attest to this, and their interviews are shown as part of the display.

Design Museum

224-238 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London, Greater London, W8 6AG

020 3862 5900


Opening times

Daily, 10am – 6pm (last exhibition entry 5pm) The museum is open late on the first Friday of every month from 10am – 8pm (last admission 7pm).

Please check the museum's website for updates.

The museum follows government COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

All visitors and members must pre-book tickets online to ensure everyone's safety and social distancing inside the galleries.

No tickets will be sold at the museum, but admission slots can be booked online on the day of the visit, if available.

A unique queuing system will ensure social distancing.

Face covering will be mandatory for all aged 11+ (unless exempt).

Cashless purchases only. Credit/debit card or mobile payments will be accepted at the shops. However, £1 coin needed for the lockers.

The cafe and restaurant will remain closed until further notice.

Hand sanitiser stations will be available on-site.

Hands-free experience with no touch screens or interactives. Visitors to bring their own headphones to enjoy specific exhibits.

Bike parking capacity has been doubled so that more people can cycle to the museum.

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