As a special thank you, the Friends of the Academy Library recently received a new brochure on our magnificent building. In a letter to members, Robert N. Shapiro ’68, chair of the Friends, shared his thoughts on the new publication:
“[The brochure] features the story of the philosophy and design of the building, insights about the great architect Louis Kahn, explanations of the original construction and renovations over time, schematic diagrams and enthralling photos. The brochure meets a constant need, as visitors arrive from around the world to see the structure and understand its iconic power. Over a decade ago, in 1997, the building was recognized by the American Institute of Architects with its important Twenty-Five Year Award for the “enduring significance” of its design and its contribution “to American life and architecture” – if there were a thirty-five year award, it would be residing in Exeter as well, as would some day a fifty year award. I found that reading the brochure yielded fresh discoveries about the Academy and the design process that turned educational principles and aspirations into both an extraordinary structure and a vibrant home of thinking and learning.”
You can find out more about the Friends of the Academy Library on our main website.
A digital artist who goes by the alias Alex Roman has created an exceptional short film inspired by Louis Kahn’s design of the Academy’s library. Working only with computers and special software as his tools (no still- or motion cameras were used), Roman has created a dreamlike view of the library’s interior spaces. It’s worth noting that Roman has never actually been to our library, and some of the details in the film don’t represent the actual physical reality of the space. It’s more a brilliant visual poem than an exact blueprint, and after watching it, we hope you’ll agree that Roman is an extremely talented young man.
We asked Roman to give us a little bio for this entry, and here’s his reply:
“I was born in 1979, in Alacant (Alicante), a city in Spain. I would first like to say that my real name is Jorge Seva, but I use ‘Alex Roman’ as an artistic alias for publishing independent work. After being trained in traditional painting at a few academies, I discovered this other world called CG. After school, I made the move to Madrid and began working at a visual effects company. That stint did not last too long due to the lack of demand for visual effects in the Spanish market at the time. It was then, that I switched into the VIZ business. I have been working for several companies since. Currently, I work on an “already-built work” visualization series which will be stitched together into a short animated piece.”
A few notes about the film:
– After clicking the play button, you’ll see a box that say “HD is On.” You can click it to see the non-HD version if you find that it’s taking to long to load properly.
– Click the box with the four arrows (in the bottom lefthand corner of the player) to see the film in fullscreen.
– The falling pieces of paper that you’ll see near the end of the film are Kahn’s blueprints for the library.
We’re extremely fortunate to work in such a magnificent building. Designed by Louis Kahn, and completed in 1971, the library has been featured in architectural journals and books, and it’s even been honored by appearing on a U.S. postage stamp. We get a lot of requests for images of the library, both interior and exterior, but until recently most of the images for which we held copyright date from the 1970s. In March, the library hired professional photographer Brian Crowley to take pictures of the library that particularly highlighted its interior design. We are absolutely thrilled with the fabulous images he created, and we thought you might like to see a few.