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Dr. and Mrs. Norman Fisher House

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1959–1967, Louis Kahn. 197 E. Mill Rd.

Kahn's evolving practice is seen at large scale in public buildings and more intimately in a cluster of houses, including the Esherick house in Chestnut Hill ( PH189), the Korman house ( MO34), and this house. In these buildings, Kahn continued to explore the means of linking modern sensibilities to specific places. In their local materials the houses recall Howe and Lescaze's “Square Shadows” ( MO33), while their plans are a link to late Victorian designs with clear hierarchies between public and private space. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Fisher house, which consists of two cubes, one containing the more public functions of living and dining and the other, angled and clearly secondary, like Carrère and Hastings's prime and service wings at “Cairnwood” ( MO39), for the private functions of bedrooms. The two wings share local stone at the first floor that reflects local barn foundations, as does the vertical plank sheathing for the upper levels that has weathered to soft grays that complement the stone. The living room fireplace brings the local stone inside while the warm, light woods of the interior are like the exterior planking, suggesting Kahn's desire to fully integrate form and material.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Dr. and Mrs. Norman Fisher House", [Hatboro, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 212-212.

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