Louis Kahn

 

Why was the Bath House important to Kahn

 

Louis I. Kahn had a modest portfolio to show for his thirty years of practice when the Trenton Jewish Community Center Association chose him to design its new home in suburban Ewing Township. It was the most complex commission Kahn had yet received, requiring him to wrestle with a new type of resource. Suburban community centers that included elements such as swim clubs and day camps in addition to main buildings were new to the 1950s.

After several years of planning and reviewing a number of designs, the Jewish Community Center built only two components of Kahn’s plan—the Olympic-sized swimming pool and Bath House, and the four modest pavilions at the Day Camp—before they dismissed him. The Center rejected Kahn’s overall vision for the site and hired another architect for the main community center building. The community center opened in 1962 and remains in use.