Local architect’s mentor profiled in documentary

  • Louis Kahn designed the Salk Institute in California. COURTESY PHOTO

  • Louis I. Kahn designed the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The building was finished in 1983, nine years after Kahn died.  COURTESY PHOTO

  • Dublin resident and local architect Dan Scully is scheduled to speak about his relationship with internationally famous architect Louis I. Kahn at an Oct. 17 screening of the documentary “My Architect” at the Peterborough Community Theatre. COURTESY PHOTO

  • Louis I. Kahn is the subject of the film “My Architect.” Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/11/2017 6:11:49 PM

The movie “My Architect” has special meaning to a Dublin man, who worked with Louis I. Kahn, the subject of the film which is showing in Peterborough on Oct. 17.

“It’s very touching,” said Dublin resident and architect Dan Scully of the film. “It's definitely Lou.”

Scully, formerly of New Haven, Connecticut, grew up around Kahn, who was friends with Scully’s father. In 1952, when Scully was 8 years old, Kahn was commissioned to design the Yale University Art Gallery. In high school, Scully started working as in intern in Kahn’s firm, right around the time Kahn was working on the Salk Institute in California and the first of several dramatic state buildings in Bangladesh.

Scully was an “office boy” and an assistant for a handful of summers, stretching into his graduate school studies at Yale. Toward the end of his time with Kahn, Scully got to work on a project to design a high school in New Haven.

So did the notoriously detail-obsessed Kahn let Scully take the lead on the project?

“Hell no,” said Scully.

“But that's the terrificness of him — his absolute focus and drive to make everything good,” said Scully.

Thanks to Kahn’s influence, Scully became a successful architect.  He worked for a year designing prefabricated homes, then taught the subject as a professor at Keene State College before he moved on to Total Environmental Action in Harrisville. In 1983, he started his own firm in Peterborough and in 1996, the firm Scully Architects moved to Keene, where Scully, a Dublin resident, has been since. 

Most of the documentary “My Architect” focuses on the filmmaker, Nathaniel Kahn — the famous’ architect’s illegitimate son and his Nathaniel’s quest to know more about his father, who died mysteriously in a men’s room in New York City’s Penn Station, leaving behind three families — one with his wife and two with women.

The Academy Award-nominated documentary, which was released in 2003, is being screened at the Peterborough Community Theatre on Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Scully is scheduled to speak at the screening, along with Nathaniel’s mother, Harriet Pattison.


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