Louis this is shown by ‘the centrepiece of

Louis Kahn
was born on February 20, 1901 on the Baltic
island of Saarama, Estonia, (Russia). He immigrated with his parents to
Philadelphia in 1905, where he lived in poverty.  From 1920 to 1924 Kahn studied at the
University of Pennsylvania at this time Baux-Arts tradition.  – Between Silence and Light book page 114; Kahn was heavily affected
by the great depression when trying to find work; Kahn mainly built buildings
that helped the public for the good. He always believed that the
architect’s job was to better society by transforming people. Kahn died if a heart attack on March 17th, 1974. P


Silence and Light book page 114;

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Foster was born in 1935, he studied at the universities of Manchester and Yale

This essay
will focus on how Louis Kahn has influenced one of the greatest architects of
the 20th century and how he created the most sustainable office in
the world.



 ‘It is billed as the worlds most sustainable
office’ – magazine













Similarity 1;

Point? The stairs are both the main focus
points in the buildings

How it’s demonstrated?

In the Yale
University art gallery the stairs


staircases in both the Bloomberg HQ and Yale Gallery are the main focus points

The stairs
in Yale Uni  The
stairway in the centre reflects the triangular patterns and lines of the
exterior and also acts as an sculpture in the centre of the gallery space. –


and in the Bloomberg
building this is shown by  ‘the centrepiece of the buildings
interior is a spiralling ramp spanning nearly 700 feet and six floors in a
triple helix formation. It is designed and proportioned as a place of meeting
and connection, intending to help people and information move seamlessly around
the building’  –

“I’ve always been a believer in open offices,”


The stairs
being the main part of the building Foster has decuded











Similarity 2;

Point? The atrium skylight has been
influenced from the ceiling also

How it’s demonstrated?


Pictured to
the right is the

Coffered ceiling

Norman has
copied the ceiling pattern













Similarity 3;


Kahn first used compressed services in the Yale University Art Gallery.

Foster has done the exact same in the Bloomberg HQ
 ‘compressing all services into this 4-inch
deep layer made it possible to fit 10 stories within the building’s permitted
envelope, each with floor-to-ceiling heights of at least 9 ½ feet’  – architectural record magazine




 Foster has used
the compressed services to make it possible to fit 10 levels within the site as
there was a height limit on this site due to St Pauls Cathedral.  This has enabled Foster to put all the
services underneath the floor creating more room also making it tidier, this also
acts as natural ventilation within the building by adding cold water pipes in
to the services. The
benefits of having cold water pipes in the ceiling is that it is a free source
of cooling, this reduces the air temperature and humidity within the building
this means that less air conditioning will be used therefore costing less and
being much more efficient.












However the
building has more significant differences; The Bloomberg HQ is much more
sustainable and better for the environment then the Yale University Art Gallery.


Sustainability; The difference is how sustainable
the building is being compared to the Yale University Art Gallery.

, this building is much better for the environment,
much more efficient, reduces waste also improves productivity, something that
is required in an office.

bronze ventilation systems, ‘covered
in hewn Yorkshire sandstone’

The materials are a lot better technology wise is a
much higher standard then when the Yale University Art Gallery was built (shown by quote or picture)


Bloomberg wanted to blend in with the other local
buildings where as Kahn’s building was a contrast.




Bespoke ceiling panels with a petal design
have been inset with 500,000 energy saving LEDs. The panels also combine
heating, cooling and acoustic functions. – yale u

Foster + Partner’s Bloomberg headquarters is the “world’s most sustainable office”









Difference 2;

ventilation system works well compared to Yale University Art Gallery.


Distinctive bronze blades on
the side of the building can be opened and closed according to the weather.
This natural ventilation system will take the pressure off more energy
intensive air-conditioning systems. – https://www.dezeen.com/2017/10/04/norman-fosters-bloomberg-european-headquarters-london-worlds-most-sustainable-office/

The cross

The shutters during the day will act as a natural ventilation
due to the wind and will prevent heat loss during night time. The cross
ventilation will lower the cost of air condition systems meaning they will save
money in the long term also be more energy efficient.
















3 – Water Recyling



Bloomberg HQ is much more efficient then the Yale University Art Gallery.  Bloomberg was given a score of ‘98.5 per cent against its criteria’ – https://www.dezeen.com/2017/10/04/norman-fosters-bloomberg-european-headquarters-london-worlds-most-sustainable-office/

The building is
much better for the environment then the Yale University Art Gallery. 



Bloomberg HQ has
been designed to use 73 per cent less water and 35 per cent less than a
standard office building. – https://www.dezeen.com/2017/10/04/norman-fosters-bloomberg-european-headquarters-london-worlds-most-sustainable-office/


‘Rainwater from the roof and grey water
from basins and showers in the building is recycled by the vacuum flush
toilets, a system that the architects say will save 25 million litres a year’ –

Foster + Partner’s Bloomberg headquarters is the “world’s most sustainable office”


difference is

recycling of water will save a lot of water and money too in the long run





You can see
the similarities between the buildings however we have come a long way since
the 1960’s with technology that is rapidly improving everyday however Bloomberg
HQ has took a massive step towards improving the quality of an office building
and being more energy efficient.