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My Architect
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My Architect (2003) More at IMDbPro »

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My Architect -- Trailer for this documentary about mysterious architect, Louis Kahn


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Nathaniel Kahn (writer)
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Release Date:
12 November 2003 (USA) See more »
The secret life of architectural genius Louis Kahn See more »
Director Nathaniel Kahn searches to understand his father, noted architect Louis Kahn, who died bankrupt and alone in 1974. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 7 wins & 3 nominations See more »
(13 articles)
Pritam’s studio dilemma
 (From Bollyspice. 3 April 2015, 10:00 PM, PDT)

Wild Tales, Gone Girl bookend Athens
 (From ScreenDaily. 17 September 2014, 8:11 AM, PDT)

‘Desert Runners’ To Premiere At Edinburgh International Film Festival
 (From The Hollywood News. 4 June 2013, 11:23 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
What a tribute to Louis Isadore Kahn - Nathaniel Kahn's "My Architect: A Son's Journey" is a worthwhile two-hour journey to experience See more (35 total) »


Edmund Bacon ... Himself
Edwina Pattison Daniels ... Aunt Eddie
Balkrishna Doshi ... Himself (as B.V. Doshi)
Frank O. Gehry ... Himself
Philip Johnson ... Himself
Louis Kahn ... Himself (archive footage)
Nathaniel Kahn ... Himself
Sue Ann Kahn ... Herself

Haym Richard Katz ... Richard Katz
Teddy Kollek ... Himself
Harriet Pattison ... Herself
Priscilla Pattison ... Aunt Posie
I.M. Pei ... Himself
Moshe Safdie ... Himself
Robert A.M. Stern ... Himself
Alexandra Tyng ... Herself
Anne Tyng ... Herself
Shamsul Wares ... Himself

Directed by
Nathaniel Kahn 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Nathaniel Kahn  writer

Produced by
Susan Rose Behr .... producer
Andrew S. Clayman .... executive producer
Simon Egleton .... line producer
Phyllis Freed Kaufman .... associate producer (as Phyllis Kaufman)
Andrew Herwitz .... associate producer
John Hochroth .... associate producer
Nathaniel Kahn .... producer
Yael Melamede .... co-producer
Judy Moon .... associate producer
Original Music by
Joseph Vitarelli 
Cinematography by
Robert Richman 
Film Editing by
Sabine Krayenbühl 
Production Management
Simon Egleton .... post-production supervisor
Sound Department
Travis Call .... sound re-recordist
Shane Gillette .... sound recordist
Jan McLaughlin .... sound mixer
Greg Smith .... sound editor
Steve F.B. Smith .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Tony Volante .... sound re-recording mixer
Visual Effects by
Brian Scott Benson .... digital effects artist
Karen DePrizio .... computer animator
Karen DePrizio .... restoration artist
Luke DiTommaso .... visual effects
Jennifer Russomanno .... title designer
Keith Yurevitz .... digital artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Claudia Raschke .... additional cinematographer
Jonathan Rho .... additional cinematographer
Román Viñoly .... additional cinematographer
Editorial Department
Benjamin Murray .... colorist
Benjamin Murray .... on-line editor
Music Department
David Low .... orchestra contractor
Tracy McKnight .... executive soundtrack producer
Tracy McKnight .... music supervisor
Alysia Oakley .... assistant to music supervisor
Allan K. Rosen .... music editor
Nicholas Viterelli .... music editor
Other crew
Lisa DeBenedictis .... pr consultant
Matthew Roseman .... production assistant
Sally Steele .... publicist

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:116 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG | Netherlands:AL | Switzerland:7 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:7 (canton of Vaud) | UK:PG

Did You Know?

Louis Kahn:How accidental our existences are, really, and how full of influence by circumstance.See more »
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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
What a tribute to Louis Isadore Kahn - Nathaniel Kahn's "My Architect: A Son's Journey" is a worthwhile two-hour journey to experience, 15 February 2004
Author: Ruby Liang (ruby_fff) from sf, usa

What a tribute to his father! He set out on a quest to learn more about a man whom he knew little of, and by the end of the journey, I believe Nathaniel Kahn is content with what he learned and personally felt. The film is 5 years in the making, and a quarter of a century after his death, Louis I. Kahn's total commitment in his work - consistent strong desire to build buildings that are meaningful to humanity and timeless to the whole world, with insight into his life is proudly depicted by his son Nathaniel in the documentary "My Architect: A Son's Journey".

The film is by no means an anthology of Louis' work. There are plenty of books and archived materials that have records of Louis Kahn's projects and buildings. This documentary works like a mystery, writer-director and co-producer Nathaniel Kahn was searching for the man whom he briefly knew as his father.

The film is in chapters. In "Heading West," we're at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies at La Jolla, California. It's a sight worth beholding - Kahn's integral concept of building and environment, optimizing light for the scientists at work is amazing. From a former colleague who worked with 'Lou' 35 years ago, we hear about his meticulous attention to detail, also how 'rambunctious' he could be - certainly didn't mince words in his criticism. A memorable scene is when the camera pulled back wide and we see Nathaniel skating around at the plaza area of the Salk Institute - a tiny figure, like a child happily playing in the bowl of his father's hands.

The "Immigrant" segment brought us to meet Anne Tyng, the architect who collaboratively worked with 'Lou' and also bore him a daughter, Alex. Now at 80, Tyng's return with Nathaniel's film crew to the Bath House project at Trenton, New Jersey, was nostalgic. In "Go to sea," we get to see the Barge for American Wind Symphony Orchestra - all made of steel, and meeting Robert Boudreau, who was surprised by Nathaniel when he finally told him he's 'Lou's' son. Boudreau was touched, he said he had seen Nathaniel when he was six, with his Mom (Harriet Pattison), and he was not to tell anyone that Lou had a son. It was a 'chokingly' emotional moment of reunion.

Like his father "The Nomad," Nathaniel traveled to Jerusalem, and learned about the Synagogue project that his father began but not realized. He visited the wailing wall, and seeing his yarmulke kept falling off/being 'breezed off' his head gave me a sense that he need not be 'totally' Jewish to be his father's son. We continue with sitting down with his two half-sisters at the "Family Matters" segment. We also hear him conversing with his Mom at Maine, and from talking to previous office personnel at his father's office, we come to know how his father intensely worked and practically lived there, sleeping on a carpet on the office floor, weekends and all.

"The End of the Journey" brought us to Ahmedabad, India, to the Indian Institute of Management building. Talking with architect B.V. Doshe was a revelation. In the end, Nathaniel found a very much alive Louis Kahn, his father - his spirits live within him. This documentary is very much a tear-jerker for me. I was teary-eyed most of the time - it was very touching and am in awe of the man, the architect and his son, and the women in his life besides his famous works and buildings. Louis I. Kahn wanted to give his love to the 'whole world,' juggling work and three families (you might say he has three women in his life to keep his inspiration going). As Shamsul Wares, the architect at the Capital of Bangladesh complex (completed 9 years after 'Lou's' death) so poignantly noted: Louis Kahn has given the people of Bangladesh a lot, spending time at Bangladesh, understanding the culture of the place and people - as well as giving them democracy through what he has achieved, and for such a dedicated man, usually the people close to him he'd often miss seeing. It seems the price of being great comes with inevitable personal sacrifices.

This film reminds me of King Vidor's "The Fountainhead" 1949 (good dramatic story in B/W with music by Max Steiner), based on Ayn Rand's novel, with Gary Cooper as the uncompromising architect who stands by his own ideals, and Patricia Neal as the parallel supportive woman in his life.

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