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Kahn

Kahn

[kahn]
Kahn, Albert, 1869-1942, American architect, designer of factories, b. Germany. He organized a large office in Detroit that applied the techniques of mass production to architecture, and he designed a great number of factories, war plants, and naval bases. Kahn was a pioneer in the use of reinforced concrete and steel. From 1928 to 1932 he was in charge of the industrial building program in the USSR.

See G. Nelson, Industrial Architecture of Albert Kahn, Inc. (1939).

Kahn, Herman, 1922-83, American military strategist. b. Bayonne, N.J. After graduate work in physics at the California Institute of Technology, he joined the Rand Corporation. Unlike scholars such as Bernard Brodie, he believed that nuclear war could be won. At Rand, he studied the application of such analytic techniques as game theory and systems analysis to military theory. In 1961 he founded the Hudson Institute, where he conducted research into questions of national security and the future. His writings include On Thermonuclear War (1961), Thinking about the Unthinkable (1962), On Escalation (1965), The Emerging Japanese Superstate (1970), The Future of the Corporation (1974), The Japanese Challenge (1979), and Thinking about the Unthinkable in the 1980s (1984).

See biography by B. Bruce-Briggs (2000); study by S. Ghamari-Tabrizi (2005).

Kahn, Julius, 1861-1924, American legislator, b. Germany. He arrived (1866) in California as a child. He studied law in San Francisco, was elected (1892) to the state legislature, and was admitted (1894) to the bar. Kahn served (1899-1903, 1905-24) in the U.S. House of Representatives and became noted chiefly as an advocate of military preparedness. He helped draft and secure the passage of the National Defense Act of 1915, the Selective Draft Act of 1917, and the National Defense Act of 1920. His wife, Florence Prag Kahn, 1868-1948, succeeded him in Congress and served until 1937.
Kahn, Louis Isadore, 1901-74, American architect, b. Estonia. He and his family moved to Philadelphia in 1905, and he later studied at the Univ. of Pennsylvania. From the 1920s through World War II, Kahn worked on numerous housing projects including Carver Court (1944), in Coatesville, Pa. He also planned the Yale Univ. Art Gallery (1953) and the American Federation of Labor Medical Building, Philadelphia. Kahn was widely acclaimed for his design of the Richards Medical Research Laboratories at the Univ. of Pennsylvania (1958-60). In this building he arrived at a new and dynamic integration of formal and functional elements, ingeniously relating mechanical services to the total architecture. Kahn eschewed the seemingly weightless International Style glass boxes of his time and created bold, dignified, and sometimes brooding or harsh structures of massed stone and concrete. His notable later designs include the Salk Institute (1965) in La Jolla, Calif., the Olivetti-Underwood Corp. factory (1969) at Harrisburg, Pa., the Kimbell Art Museum (1972), Fort Worth, Tex., and the monumental posthumously completed government complex (1983) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. One of the major architects of his time, he also exerted wide influence over the next generations of American architects as a professor at Yale (1947-57) and the Univ. of Pennsylvania (1957-74).

See his notebooks and drawings, ed. by R. S. Wurman and E. Feldman (1962), Louis I. Kahn: Writings, Lectures, Interviews (1991), ed. by A. Latour; studies by V. Scully (1962), R. Giurgola (1975), P. C. Loud (1989), D. B. Brownlee and D. G. De Long (1991 and 1997), U. Buttiker (1994), K.-P. Gast (1999), K. Larson (2000), and S. W. Goldhagen (2001).

Kahn, Otto Hermann, 1867-1934, American banker and patron of the arts, born and educated in Germany. He emigrated to the United States in 1893 and in 1897 joined the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Company in New York City. He was closely associated with E. H. Harriman in the reorganization of the Union Pacific and other railroads and had a part in numerous international finance organizations. Among the many theatrical and musical groups he helped underwrite were the Russian ballet and the Paris Conservatory orchestra in their American appearances. From 1903 he was active on the board of the Metropolitan Opera Company; in 1908 he brought, from Milan, Giulio Gatti-Casazza as director and Arturo Toscanini as principal conductor, launching the company on one of its most successful periods. A collection of his writings and speeches was published as Of Many Things (1926).

See biography by M. J. Matz (1963).

(born Feb. 20, 1901, Osel, Estonia, Russian Empire—died March 17, 1974, New York, N.Y., U.S.) Estonian-born U.S. architect. He came to the U.S. as a child and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. One of the century's most original architects, Kahn turned from the International Style to a timeless, elegant Brutalism evocative of ancient ruins. His Richards Medical Research Building (1960–65) at the University of Pennsylvania isolated “servant” spaces (stairwells, elevators, vents, and pipes) in four towers distinct from “served” spaces (laboratories and offices). His fortresslike National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangl. (1962–74), utilized geometric shapes to admit light to its inner domed mosque. Like R. Buckminster Fuller, Kahn was concerned about wasteful use of natural resources; his urban-planning schemes proposed geodesic skyscrapers and huge car “silos.” He taught at Yale University (1947–57) and the University of Pennsylvania (1957–74), where appreciation for his intellect gained him a cult status.

Learn more about Kahn, Louis I(sadore) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Feb. 20, 1901, Osel, Estonia, Russian Empire—died March 17, 1974, New York, N.Y., U.S.) Estonian-born U.S. architect. He came to the U.S. as a child and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. One of the century's most original architects, Kahn turned from the International Style to a timeless, elegant Brutalism evocative of ancient ruins. His Richards Medical Research Building (1960–65) at the University of Pennsylvania isolated “servant” spaces (stairwells, elevators, vents, and pipes) in four towers distinct from “served” spaces (laboratories and offices). His fortresslike National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangl. (1962–74), utilized geometric shapes to admit light to its inner domed mosque. Like R. Buckminster Fuller, Kahn was concerned about wasteful use of natural resources; his urban-planning schemes proposed geodesic skyscrapers and huge car “silos.” He taught at Yale University (1947–57) and the University of Pennsylvania (1957–74), where appreciation for his intellect gained him a cult status.

Learn more about Kahn, Louis I(sadore) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Feb. 15, 1922, Bayonne, N.J., U.S.—died July 7, 1983, Chappaqua, N.Y.) U.S. physicist and strategist. He studied at the California Institute of Technology and joined the RAND Corp., where he studied the application to military strategy of new analytic techniques such as game theory, operations research, and systems analysis. He won public notice with On Thermonuclear War (1960), in which he contended that thermonuclear war differs only in degree from conventional war and ought to be analyzed and planned in the same way. In 1961 he established the Hudson Institute for research into matters of national security and public policy.

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(born March 21, 1869, Rhaunen, Westphalia—died Dec. 8, 1942, Detroit, Mich., U.S.) German-born U.S. industrial architect. In 1904 he received a commission for the Packard Motor Car Co. auto factory; his design, with its reinforced concrete frame, represented an innovative departure from traditional masonry factory construction. Kahn was the principal architect for most of the large American automobile companies for 30 years. His firm designed more than a thousand projects for Ford, among them the fabrication and assembly plant in River Rouge, Mich., which was one of the largest industrial complexes in the world. By 1937 his firm was producing 19percnt of all architect-designed industrial buildings in the U.S., and he received commissions for factories, foundries, and warehouses from all continents. Kahn's firm designed 521 factories in the U.S.S.R. and trained more than a thousand Soviet engineers during the 1930s.

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(born Feb. 15, 1922, Bayonne, N.J., U.S.—died July 7, 1983, Chappaqua, N.Y.) U.S. physicist and strategist. He studied at the California Institute of Technology and joined the RAND Corp., where he studied the application to military strategy of new analytic techniques such as game theory, operations research, and systems analysis. He won public notice with On Thermonuclear War (1960), in which he contended that thermonuclear war differs only in degree from conventional war and ought to be analyzed and planned in the same way. In 1961 he established the Hudson Institute for research into matters of national security and public policy.

Learn more about Kahn, Herman with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born March 21, 1869, Rhaunen, Westphalia—died Dec. 8, 1942, Detroit, Mich., U.S.) German-born U.S. industrial architect. In 1904 he received a commission for the Packard Motor Car Co. auto factory; his design, with its reinforced concrete frame, represented an innovative departure from traditional masonry factory construction. Kahn was the principal architect for most of the large American automobile companies for 30 years. His firm designed more than a thousand projects for Ford, among them the fabrication and assembly plant in River Rouge, Mich., which was one of the largest industrial complexes in the world. By 1937 his firm was producing 19percnt of all architect-designed industrial buildings in the U.S., and he received commissions for factories, foundries, and warehouses from all continents. Kahn's firm designed 521 factories in the U.S.S.R. and trained more than a thousand Soviet engineers during the 1930s.

Learn more about Kahn, Albert with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Kahn is a German surname. Kahn is the German word for a small boat. It is also a Germanized form of the Jewish surname Cohen, another variant of which is Cahn.

People with the surname Kahn

People with the surname Cahn

  • Edward Cahn (1899–1963), an American film director
  • John W. Cahn (1927– ), an American Scientist
  • Robert W. Cahn (1924–2007), a metallurgist specializing in the properties of dislocations
  • Sammy Cahn (1913–1993), an American musician

People with the personal name Kahn

Fictional people

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