Louis Kahn and Oscar Stonorov, Pennsylvania Solar House, 1947

In 1947, the glass manufacturer Libbey Owens Ford published Your Solar House, a book collection featuring one model house for each of the 48 states. Architect Louis Kahn designed this house for Pennsylvania. While one notes the expansive use of glass and eaves, as well as the bucolic placement of the house on an open suburban or rural lot, the specific solar aspects remain more suggested than clearly outlined. Maria Telkes, an engineer involved in a number of solar house heating experiments, wrote in 1949 that “the designs illustrated in Your Solar House may or may not save considerable amounts of fuel, depending on geographical latitude and also upon the latitude in interpreting the word ‘considerable’.” Still, this gestural approach to solar design was popular, with extensive coverage in venues such as the Ladies Home Journal, Progressive Architecture, and in an exhibition called “Tomorrow’s Small House” at the Museum of Modern Art in 1945.

Louis Kahn and Oscar Stonorov, Pennsylvania Solar House, in Your Solar House: A Book of Practical Homes for All Parts of the Country By 49 of America’s Leading Architects, 1947.
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