The Work of Louis Sauer -- by Jim Morgan  


路易艘爾(Louis Sauer)作品導覽


我在當年「環境與行為研究」(EBS)的重鎮─威斯康辛大學選修住宅設計studio的時候,指導教授是客座的建築師Sauer先生。他曾經是大師Louis Kahn的學生,1960-79二十年間已在東岸完成許多得獎的住宅作品。修課那學期還安排了一次旅行,去費城參觀他設計的住宅(→點下面Society Hill地圖)。

他善於並且提倡與建商業主互動,共同塑造出雙贏的成果。Sauer進一步把他獨到的site/building/unit system運用到國宅設計,更利用訪談傾聽弱勢用戶族群的聲音,藉以修訂住戶單元設計,成功地反映在後來的住戶滿意度調查上。

右文取材自1980年1月東京出刊的「都市住宅」月刊,以Sauer低層集合住宅為專題,也是他送給我 studio修得"A"的獎品。除了內文鏈結以外,下面圖片都可以link到該項目的專案網頁,照片、內容也都取自這本二十多年前的雜誌。算算Sauer今年也將近80歲,搜尋引擎已經找不到幾條關於他的信息。想到他設計的人本邏輯在風格掛帥、捨本逐末的今天依然歷久彌新,決心花點功夫作成網頁。在讚佩日本印刷的精美耐久之餘,也希望這點陳年往事對有志貢獻住宅設計的學子有點助益。

Sauer的一句話至今仍縈迴耳際:"Who cares about styles?" 他不像追逐風格的設計師,不管基地在那裡始終作出個人統一的風格。風格其實隨個案的張力會漸次渾然天成,不應該讓風格來"尾巴搖狗",這是對前述"捨本逐末"的註解。

Cripps House, 1962

Hamilton House, 1962

Waverly Court I, 1963

Buten House, 1962

Buten House, 1962

Socity Hill, Philadelphia


Pastorius Mews, 1964

Golf Course Island, 1965

Spring Pond Apartments, 1966

Governor's Grove, 1969

Harmony House, 1967

Canterbury Gardens, 1967

Warburton Houses, 1970

Orchard Mews, 1974

Seascape, 1972

Penn's Landing Square, 1969

Lombard Condos, 1977

Louis Sauer 之都市住宅

The Work of

Louis Sauer


Extract by Jim Morgan, AIA (1980)

Although there are not many American architects like Louis Sauer, he is a very American architect nonetheless. Forceful in his beliefs, Louis Sauer strikes one, in spite of that, as a warm and personable man who takes more pride in his family than he does in his work. His working values seem to come directly from his American heritage: a commitment to pragmatic action, to building rather than talking about building; commitment to giving the people who use his buildings maximum freedom of choice in their daily lives; commitment to the unpredictable adventures of a pluralistic, free-wheeling capitalist society and commitment to serving the underprivileged members of that society as well.

Louis Sauer is always ready to consider another person's opinion of his work, always ready to include their input into his design thinking. Like John Turner and others who advocate the user's role in providing his own shelter, Sauer has been enthusiastically involved in opening up the process of design to the maximum number of participants. And yet, like other architects of his generation, he cares a great deal about the product of the design process, about the quality of the built environment--especially about adding new construction into an existing context.

He does not see himself primarily as an intellectual and is always ready to argue against architecture based on European and academic influences. He sees the work of people like Richard Meier, for instance, as largely irrelevant to American society. For Sauer, houses derived from ideological or quasi-historical references represent a constriction of the choices available to whose who occupy them.

As of September 1979, Louis Sauer has turned the work of his Philadelphia office over to others and has begun a new career as Head of the Department of Architecture at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Not everyone there, apparently, is happy to have as leader an architect who has spent most of his professional life working with developers. But Louis Sauer isn't daunted by that. He feels very strongly that unless architects learn to deal with society on realistic terms, society will simply deal architects out of the game. And he intends to get that point across to his students right from the start.

Louis Sauer was born in 1928 and grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. Frank Lloyd Wright's houses were everywhere and Sauer remembers going to high school parties at Unity Temple. But he had no intention of following in Wright's footsteps at that time. After high school, young Sauer spent three years in pre-medical training. Then something inexplicable happened. He decided he would rather be a painter.

Born of Italian and German stock, Louis Saner is at once passionate and dedicated to order. So when his deep well of humanity surged up and swept away the orderly progress toward becoming a doctor, he began a vigorous odyssey through the arts: from painting to sculpture to photography. For awhile, even an interest in modern dance. But eventually he settled on architecture and product design, graduating in 1953 from Moholy-Nagy's Institute of Design, recently merged with Illinois Institute of Technology. After a tour of military duty in Europe, Sauer entered the University of Pennsylvania in order to, like so many other important American architects of our time, draw inspiration from the teaching of Louis I. Kahn. He graduated with a Master's Degree in Architecture in 1959.


If you study the Design Awards issues of Progressive Architecture in the early 60's, you will conclude that Louis Sauer was beginning, as have other talented architects, by designing romantic, rambling houses-in-the-woods in the beautiful Delaware River valley above Philadelphia. In 1963 it was the thoroughly-articulated Cripps residence and then in 1964, the Hamilton house lovingly integrated into the collpased shell of an old mill. But what is not so well known is that at same time that he was busy during the evenings designing these country houses, Sauer was spending his days working for the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. For two-and-a-half years he was out on the street as full-time liaison with the disenfranchised, watching the promise of urban renewal being perverted by the political elite. It was during this period, the early 60's, that Louis Sauer began doing advocacy work among the poor. Thus, the two characteristics that distinguish his career--design excellence and pragmatic involvement in society--began at the same time.

The urban interest does soon appear in his work because the same issue of Progressive Architecture that recognized the Hamilton house also gave a First Design Award to his project for Waverly Court. This was the first of what now seem to be dozens of tight and intriguing row-house projects that Sauer has done for the area around Society Hill, Philadelphia. Walking in that neighborhood, today, one is seldom out of sight of a Sauer building. In some cases he has designed every building on the block!

One of the houses done early in Sauer's career which deserves special comment is the Buten residence, published in Progressive Architecture for August, 1964. Two tiny back-to-back rowhouses were gutted and the facades retained. The parallel bearing walls are about fourteen feel apart. Within that shell, Louis Sauer created a magic place. At the basement level, a living room and dining room/kitchen were built on either side of a 14-foot by l1-foot garden and connected by a glass-walled passage. Above the living room, three floors, each with a bedroom or study, fill out the ancient brick facade. At the other end, over the kitchen, there is a separate apartment, also three stories tall.

But it is the garden which transformed the house into a sublime living experience. The living room is separated from it by a single sheet of glass, thus, making the planting bed inside the living room seem truly contiguous to the garden. Opposite, the dining room window heads are dropped because the floor level is lower--the perspective effect makes the garden seem even longer. A single dogwood tree, brick paving and low planting create an intimacy of scale within this seemingly enormous space that is astounding. Ties to Japanese tradition that are apparent here result from Sauer's own study of that culture.

Interestingly enough, however, it is not the esthetic distinction of the Buten house which makes it significant to Louis Sauer's later work. Rather, it was this design which served as a test of the system which Sauer was developing at the same time for large-scale housing projects. The twelve or fourteen-foot wide living unit, reproduced in all directions as part of a grid, is the conceptual heart of most of the housing designs which Sauer has done. Thus, the Buten residence is worth extremely close study because it serves so clearly as the paradigm for what can be accomplished in a limited building site. With this in mind, the essay will first examine the work that Sauer has done with market-rate housing developers and will then look at the public sector housing, much of which uses the same building system.


The first and probably most important difference between Louis Sauer and most other architects who work for housing developers is that he never worry about compromising "architecture" as he responds to the developer's needs. Because of his early recognition by magazines and professional organizations as a talented designer, he has been free to explore what he calls "the edges between architecture and the rest of society." For him, working with developers was one of the best ways to learn about those areas with which architecture interacts--finance and public policy--but which to so many architects are alien territory.

He quickly realized that the architect's traditional concerns--documented programming, studio-oriented design, elegant detailing---were not relevant either to the developer nor to the market the developer wished to serve. It is not so much that Sauer abandoned these concerns as that he set them aside while working with developers. Such flexibility would not come easily to architects who have an ideologically-based design approach but for Louis Sauer, who approaches each design problem on its own terms, there is no problem.

In other words, the context in which the developer is working shapes Sauer's design approach. He accepts his role as a professional serving a client and strives to understand the client's needs without making judgements about their meaning. Yet he pursues the idea of an "Ameriean architecture" with all his might. Since Sauer endorses the idea that architecture cannot exist outside of its social, political and economic context, and also that the developer is the motivating force behind housing construction in the American free market system, it is easy to see why he feels committed to the real estate development process.

The result is that Sauer has always responded to the pride that professional developers take in their projects. Yet, even that is not as simple as it sounds. Developers may have a personal commitment to quality but often their criteria are different from an architect's standards. For instance, one developer may take pride in offering large apartments. Another may get pleasure from beautifully landscaped grounds. Still another may believe in having every car parked so close to the unit that the tenant can see it from his front door.

It is Sauer's contention that for the architect to have any influence with the developers at all, he must work to understand the process and values of the building industry and move with them. Yet, he does not see that collaboration as "selling out". Rather he uses the image of Ju-jitsu: you move with the force applied in order to control it. Thus, Sauer sees himself as using the developer's own techniques with such expertise that he can create changes that suit his own architectural goals while still serving the client's needs.

Louis Sauer sees himself as an architect who has wanted to build, not just design paper schemes. Since developers also want to build -- and often build over and over again their importance to Sauer is again confirmed. Yet, Sauer will not work for just any person who calls himself a developer. Some painful false starts in the early 60's have convinced him that unless the developer meets certain criteria that Sauer has identified since then, it is best not to take the job. That is not exactly the attitude of someone after all the work he can get!

The first of his criteria is that the developer be experienced. There are two reasons for that: First, if the developer has produced a housing complex that Sauer can visit, many of the ideas which are important to the developer will be readily apparent to him; the architect will then have a stronger sense of the "program" than he could gain from the standard programming process. Second, Louis Sauer is not interested in training people to be developers; even though he understands after all these years, the developer's work better than many of his clients, he steadfastly refuses to assume that role or to mix it with the role of architect. When a developer who is not adequately experienced, in Sauer's opinion, insists upon working with him, he raises the fee to compensate for the extra time and risk that will be required.

His second rule is that the developer must have the capacity to complete the job, which translates to "Financial Stability". That is, obviously, usually a strength that comes with a developer who is experienced. But not always: often an organization which is making large profits in a business related to housing will decide to put some of their excess funds into development and thereby earn even more. Because they are newcomers to the field, Sauer stays away from them. And he is right. In the last decade, several huge aerospace corporations entered the mass housing development business only to find that putting a man on the moon requires totally different skills from putting a house on the earth!

Third, Louis Sauer insists that the developer have a sophisticated understanding of the market he is seeking to enter. From Sauer's point-of-view, unless the developer knows precisely the desires of those for whom he intends to provide housing, the project will not be a financial success. In the American market, where choice is expected, a housing development which has inappropriate character or location will take so long to fill up with occupants that the developer is likely to suffer significant financial loss if not bankruptcy.

The fourth criteria for Sauer is that his developer-client be aware of the neighborhood in which the project will be located. As is clear from the photographs included in this issue, Sauer's buildings always fit well into their environment and at the same time convey a "sense of place". These characteristics cannot be captured by an architect, in Sauer's opinion, if the developer himself has not perceived the character and potential of the area surrounding the new housing. While it may indeed be the architect's task, as Sauer sees it, to create the design character that both blends and maintains its own quality, nothing significant can be accomplished without the developer's agreement. And it certainly won't happen if he doesn't want it.


In working as part of the market-rate housing industry (as distinct from government-assisted housing), Louis Sauer points to three main topics that, for him, clarify the process: the architect's influence on the developer; the nature of industrialized building in America; and, already mentioned, the marketing process.

One reason why many American architects have avoided working with developers is that they have much less influence and control than in institutional work such as schools, churches and corporate buildings. But where most architects complain that the developer pushes them around too much, Louis Sauer avoids those who don't know enough to be clear about their intentions. That is what he means by not wanting developer-clients who are inexperienced. "Since you know from the start that profit is why the work is being done," says Sauer, "it makes things much easier if the developer knows exactly how he intends to operate."

Where institutional architects like Philip Johnson and I. M. Pei seek to control their clients' response to the design problem by "protecting their interests", in market-oriented design the situation is just the opposite. The client not only doesn't need protection but is the one who knows what will satisfy his market and how to do it. Thus, there is apparently much less "freedom" for the architect.

In spite of putting himself into situations which most other architects avoid, Sauer has continued to produce buildings that have won critical acclaim and he has, in some neighborhoods, such as Society Hill in Philadelphia, designed so many of the new buildings that have been built that it looks as though the whole composition was planned.

Louis Sauer understands that he gains influence with the developer as he reduces the developer's risk. To the extent that developers know that Sauer's designs are easily built and marketed, they trust him and give him the opportunity to pursue the architectural goals that he feels are appropriate.

A flexible design approach is probably the primary means by which Sauer maximizes his influence over the developer. For instance, he never uses the standard approach to programming with his developer-clients. Where institutional clients are ready to spend months finding out what each employee needs and wants in his office, developers tend to be men of few words, more interested in immediate action than a lot of talk. Therefore, Sauer uses a series of design schemes as the programming technique, He shows the developer many ways to site the buildings and, by listening carefully to the responses, soon knows what is wanted. The same goes for apartment layouts and sizes, for building forms and materials.

It is not as random and open-ended a process as it may seem. After years of working with developers, Sauer knows ahead of time the likely response of his new client and focuses his drawings accordingly. Even so, by today's theories of practice, it is an approach that most architects would hesitate to use. Nonetheless, it is important, says Sauer, to give the developer an opportunity to exercise his own sense of design. By involving the client in the design process, Sauer finds that the gains in influence over later decisions are worth whatever ego satisfaction is lost. And it is worth-while to remember at this point that Louis Sauer does not need to be told by his clients that he is a good designer.

What Sauer gains from this free-wheeling approach to design is the opportunity to influence how the developer will spend his construction budget. Traditionally, architects who work for developers have very little to say about how the finished product will look. That's why so many American development housing projects look as though they had no architect at all.

Louis Sauer, therefore, concentrates on making the developer aware of the marketing advantages of handsome materials, generous windows and above all, complete landscaping. After all, Sauer recognizes that to the developer, the architect is needed primarily to create the atmosphere for marketing as the developer intends to do it. That means the architect works basically on site planning and facade design. Apartment layout, which represents the needs and desires of the identified market, is a matter over which the developer usually retains total control.

Louis Sauer dealt with this concept early in his practice by coming up with a site/building/unit system that he has used in differing forms many times since. The first application, Pastorius Mews, was a tight urban site. Based on his scheme for the Buten residence, whose small-scaled richness has already been discussed, Sauer placed a twelve-foot wide grid on his downtown Philadelphia site. Then, he imposed a set of parallel-walled building shells on that inside of which a variety of interior arrangements were possible. Although that design was never built, it gave him a format that has since worked well on a variety of sites. The grid is twelve feet wide for low-income housing and fourteen feet wide for moderate and upper income units. The module works well with available building materials and permits the various trades to move from one house to the next knowing exactly what they will find.

At first, the system was used only on high-density urban land (including the willing borough project for Levitt). Ironically, the first built example is Golf Course Island at Reston, Virginia--suburban density housing. Here, because of the semi-rural context and of parking requirements, Sauer abandoned the grid site plan and revised the system into a series of three basic foundation plans, each of which offer a slightly different first floor plan. Then, there are three second floor plans, each of which fit any of the second floor plans. Thus, a considerable variety is possible and more important, a wide range of purchase prices.

Sauer learned a number of other things on the Reston project. On his own, he visited several nearby housing developments built for the same market as he was designing for. The comparability studies that resulted gave him a thorough understanding of the market that his client, Robert E. Simon, was aiming for. He also did cost-per-square foot studies of the client's earlier construction and sales efforts that enabled him to seek out esthetic opportunities based on the construction cost savings that his site/building/unit system offers. Interestingly enough, it was also at Reston that Sauer realized he was imposing architectural form on people who had different values from his own. That is when he began the behavioral studies, discussed in the following section, that have shaped his work ever since.

Two projects which followed, Spring Pond in Corning, N. Y. and Governor's Grove in Wesleyan, Connecticut, were designed on the same system, each modified to suit the special needs of site and market. Spring Pond mixes small rental townhouses and flats, combining them into repeated groups of units which form several different configurations around intimate courtyards. For the first time, Sauer did his own landscaping design, including roads and parking, as part of his system.

The Connecticut project is upper-income condominium units on a sloping site. This time the unit combinations are based on a fourteen by fourteen-foot module that offers seven floor plans in four different building configurations, depending on the topography.

Sauer has since then simplified his system with a four-plex plan--four units backing up to each other--that has been used several times, including Regency Square, Cincinnati and Oak Hill Estates, Philadelphia. By this time, about 1970, Louis Sauer's reputation as a market-rate housing architect was at such a level that he had to begin to turn away developers. It was then that he decided to take the "problem-site" jobs rather than those with high budgets for which "high-style" facades were sought.

It is appropriate here to say that none of Sauer's projects look like any of the others because he designs for a particular site context and market image in each case. Unlike the New York Five, who pursue a consistent esthetic course from one house to the next, no matter what changes in context occur, Sauer's process is constant but the visual results differ--they always reflect the specific context of the work. Thus, his concept of industrialized building does not include the idea, so popular with the Five and their followers, that the building should look "industrial". Most Americans agree with Sauer that a machine and a house are quite different objects indeed.

Louis Sauer's work, for the first six years of his practice, fell entirely into the market-rage category. During that period, after doing several urban housing projects that did not get built and one suburban one (North Crossing, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania) that was built and proved a successful investment, he began to understand the developer's preoccupation with marketing. By mastering that discipline he could foresee in his designs the developer's needs and, thus, offer a supportive service that few other architects do.

One notable exception is Fisher-Friedman of San Francisco who also do a great deal of developer housing design. But where Sauer's designs often deal with tight and complicated urban sites, Fisher-Friedman's usually are on previously-undeveloped properties where lower densities can be accomodated. And where Sauer's projects respond to subtle differences in the neighborhood context, Fisher-Friedman's projects have a similar character that expresses the more homogeneous housing market of rapidly growing California.


Louis Sauer's first government-assisted housing work was designed in 1967-8 for two separate sites in the same New Haven, Connecticut neighborhood. Both projects were for low-lncome black families with children, Americans who, without the intervention of government in housing, would never have a chance for decent living quarters.

Since this work came to him after half-a-dozen years of working with developers on market-rate housing, he quickly realized that no one, including the New Haven Redevelopment Agency (NHRA) which was in charge, knew who the tenants would be. Sauer used a variation of his site/building/unit system to place 22 units on the first site, known as Harmony House, and 34 units on the second, Canterbury Gardens.

But as he was designing the apartment plans themselves, based on a standard plan of NHRA, he became convinced that the layout was not workable for the families who would occupy them. So he made an informal but detailed survey of six families who might be prospective tenants. He discovered that instead of kitchens on the street and living rooms in the back on a private yard (an arrangement that works well for middle-class families), everyone of these families wanted it reversed. Reluctantly, the NHRA allowed him to make that revision. A great deal has been written since about Sauer's pioneering act of behavioral research in this case.

As part of a vigorous professional interest in the science of behavioral psychology that began to emerge in the late 60's, Louis Sauer has continued to follow up on the New Haven projects and has used the same interview-research process on several subsequent government-assisted projects. He believes that if no one else will do it, then the architect must be the user-needs advocate. His ease at welcoming the input of others into the design process (also mentioned earlier as part of his work with developers) distinguishes Sauer from almost every other American architect. Perhaps the only other one to actively use behavioral studies is Herb MeLaughlin of San Francisco. His applications have been mainly institutional and commercial design projects, however.

Louis Sauer's interest in learning from others to improve his design skills began with the first house he designed. The clients had requested a colonial design; he had designed a modern one, in hopes of "educating" them. After it was built he realized that he had imposed his own point-of-view and vowed never to do it again if he could help it.

For an architect, he controls his "utopian" impulses well. Rather than use design to "improve" the existing world (a presumption of which most architects are guilty at one time or another) or create a "new society", Sauer follows the precepts of Robert Venturi, his Philadelphia contemporary, in attempting to find what is good with things as they are. But unlike Venturi, who is apt to then produce an architectural caricature of what he finds, Sauer attempts to make forms with which his users will be totally comfortable.

Sauer's concerns with user-needs have paid definite dividends. In a new government publication, "Residents' Satisfaction in HUD-Assisted Housing Design and Management (1979)", a survey found that the occupants of Sauer's Warburton houses in Yonkers, N. Y. expressed the highest level of enthusiasm for their buildings. The project combines a high-rise tower with a group of 21 low-rise apartments based on Sauer's site/building/unit system, all with easy access to a linear interior court.

Orchard Mews in Baltimore is one of these, a Sauer project done under the sponsorship of the Baltimore municipal government. It is a city block of urban renewal land that has returned to neighborhood life. Built around a church that has still to be renovated, Orchard Mews consists of 101 subsidized rental houses grouped around carefully-landscaped public areas. The private outdoor spaces that front each house include the entrance stairs for which Baltimore rowhouses are famous. In fact, given their small scale, it is not easy to distinguish the new 12-foot wide houses Sauer has designed from the existing indigenous ones across the street. For Sauer, the project is an application of behavioral science exploring issues of identity and territoriality as they affect people living in high-density housing. A series of post-occupancy studies will be done to examine the effectiveness of Sauer's design assumptions.

Sauer generally has a positive reaction toward non-market sector housing. He feels that the architect has much more freedom to innovate and to intervene on behalf of the potential users than in market-rate housing. But then he sees that the architect's responsibility to provide good quality units is also greater since poor people have far less choice in how they live than do those who can afford private-sector housing.

Among Louis Sauer's recent work, there are several examples illustrating the sophistication with which he now approaches high-density housing design. Even when the project is not in a city, there is a distinctly urban quality about the result. For instance, Seascape is a group of fourteen detached houses on a city block in the Atlantic Ocean beach resort of Avalon, New Jersey. The houses surround a pool and tennis court that the house owners hold in common. Sauer wondered how to avoid the awkward sideyards that fall on both sides of detached houses set on narrow lots. So he devised a "zero lot line" concept that satisfies the town's zoning code and gives each house control over one double-width sideyard. The wall of the house that is on the lot line has no windows while the opposite side opens onto what is a private garden. It is an idea that can be traced back to Sauer's early site/building/unit system.

Two recent low-rise projects in Society Hill, Philadelphia, among the many there designed by Louis Sauer, also merit special comment. Penn's Landing Square II is a full city block complex that faces the Delaware River to the east and I. M. Pei's Society Hill Towers to the north. In such a large-scale context, where houses must assume monumental proportions in order to be significant in the landscape, Sauer made use of architectural devices that go back to the famous curved rows of houses in Bath, England. Although the Philadelphia facades are devoid of ornament, two classical themes can be seen: first, two-story tall columns march along as the framework into which all windows and other voids are incorporated; second, above the columns, a large entablature formed by the attics of the joined houses creates a flat panel that is definitely in scale with its surroundings.

But that facade is quite different from the private side of the building (a distinction which Sauer has made since his earliest houses). In plan, Penn's Landing Square is an example of the high-density possibilities of Sauer's site/building/unit system. On less than two acres, 118 units have been arranged so that every house has an exposure at both ends. A tight walkway edged by two and three-story facades of modest scale winds its way past luxuriant planting. It feels Scandinavian in spirit. There is also a definite three-dimensional quality to the composition, so that at one point the interior street is a floor or two above the communal swimming pool. From a monumental facade, where that suits the context, to an intimate sequence of courtyards and passages, Penn's Landing Square has a "sense of place" that is remarkable.

Louis Sauer himself is less comfortable in such an intense environment than in the traditional Philadelphia streetscape. Although almost every street in Society Hill has a house or building that he has designed, his own favorite is the Lombard Street Condominiums. Located just a few doors from his earlier McClennan house (which is itself an excellent illustration of Sauer's distinction between public and private facades), this group of eight duplex rowhouses establish a rhythm reminiscent of a London street. Because each unit is a maisonette above another maisonette, four floors total, the scale is larger than usual for a Philadelphia street. But because this group ends the street at the riverfront, they have a solid brick element rising from the sidewalk that alternates with a set-back section culminating in one, sometimes two, greenhouses at the top. Sauer notes with pleasure that when, halfway through construction, the developer decided to offer rooftop terraces to his potential buyers, the upper greenhouses were easily added. Not everyone chose to add the upper greenhouse and that adds an unexpected variety to the composition.


Sauer's decision to shift his focus from being primarily an architect to being primarily an academic administrator was not made in a vacuum. Sauer taught most of the 60's, first at Drexel Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia and then at Yale and MIT. He returned to Pennsylvania in 1974 and continued to teach design until going to Carnegie-Mellon recently. In addition, he has been a visiting critic or lecturer at seventeen other architectural schools.

His goals as head of an architectural school fall into two categories. The first is to pass on what he has learned through his practice--the nature of the pragmatic process for dealing with the power sources in the construction industry--namely the developers. The second is to work toward an architectural system that will increase the predictability of building performance before construction begins.

As he has begun to share his professional experience with his new students, he has detected a preoccupation with the same high-style design--the New York Five and similar groups--that he has always refused to create. Naturally, it is much too early to say how that academic confrontation will be resolved. But as part of his goal of broadening student perceptions, Sauer hopes to send many graduates out into disciplines other than the traditional architectural practice.

As for his second goal, the architectural system, Louis Sauer feels that his reputation as an artist-architect makes him an excellent advocate for strengthening the science of architecture. He believes that his prior work in behavioral science, for instance, has helped to stretch the measureable perception of "function'' (as in "Form follows... "). Thus, it has increased the potential predictability of an architect's work.

A second future interest is the question of linking architecture to public policy, in recent years, he has been sent to several other countries by the United States Government as a technical assistance expert. He has been to Lebanon, Portugal and Russia to advise governments on the policy implications of design criteria. Especially the effect on disenfranchised members of the society.

What has excited him most about these trips is the perspective they have given him on the problems and potential of American society. His intention is to work further on issues of public policy and architecture in developing countries. Despite many opportunities, Louis Sauer has not been attracted to circles of affluence up to now. The challenge to him is expediting housing in societies of poverty, where the need appears endless.

Ultimately, Sauer is concerned about the future of his profession. Presently, under attack from several quarters (as are other professions) for what are called "exclusionary practices", American architects as a group are wondering just what their role for the future will be. Louis Sauer, however, is one who has no questions about that. To strengthen architectural skills; to work toward raising environmental quality; and most of all, to continue creating the "sense of place" in building which be sees as the architect's unique contribution: those are his goals for the future.

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