Carles Vallhonrat, founder of the Louis I. Kahn Archive, dies at 89

Carles Vallhonrat

Architect and teacher Carles Vallhonrat, the founder of the original Louis I. Kahn Archive, died in his home in Haverford, Pa. on Feb. 21st. He was 89.

Vallhonrat, who taught at the Princeton University School of Architecture for forty years, is remembered for his careful insights and dedication to the integrity of design.

Born in Barcelona, Vallhonrat was a graduate of the Universidad National del Litoral in Rosario, Argentina, and of the master’s program in architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

Before joining the Princeton faculty, Vallhonrat served as the chairman of the architecture department at the University of Pennsylvania. He was also the William Henry Bishop Professor of Architecture at Yale University in 1985 and Paul H. Kea Distinguished Professor of Architecture at the University of Maryland in 1974-1975. Over the years he was a juror, lecturer or panelist at numerous universities, including the Col.legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya, Columbia University, Cooper Union, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Myongji University, Tel Aviv University, the University of Texas, and the University of Toronto.

He wrote about tectonics — the science or art of construction, both in relation to use and artistic design — and about Austrian architect and designer of consumer goods Josef Hoffmann.

From 1960 to 1971, Vallhonrat worked in the office of Louis I. Kahn as principal assistant to Kahn in the design of the Salk Institute, the Bangladesh Capital Complex, the Palazzo dei Congressi in Venice, and the first design of the British Art Center at Yale. As senior designer and consultant to Ewing Cole Erdman & Eubank, he designed the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

He organized the successful effort to preserve the drawings and papers of Louis I. Kahn and was also the principal narrator in the film “Spent Light: Louis Kahn & the Salk Institute.”

A funeral service will be held Monday, March 6 at 2 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, Pa. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Professor Carles Vallhonrat can be made to the Princeton University Professor Vallhonrat Fund, Princeton University, Alumni and Donor Records c/o Helen Hardy, P.O. Box 5357, Princeton, NJ 08543-5357.