Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

(1867- 1959)
Considered best architect of last 125 years.
Known for ‘Prairie Style’ architecture, characterized by asymmetrical plans and low, wide overhanging eaves.
American Architect Worked under Louis Sullivan.
Influenced by the British Arts and Crafts Movement.
Influenced European modern architects created the philosophy of ORGANIC ARCHITECTURE, which maintains that the building must develop out of its surroundings.
Use of natural materials like bricks, stone and wood,textured concrete
“Do not try to teach design. Teach Principles.”

Kauffman House – Falling Water, Pennsylvania

Organic Architecture is a term Frank Lloyd Wright used to describe his approach to architectural design.

Organic architecture is an architecture from within outward, in which entity is an ideal… organic means intrinsic – in the philosophic sense, entity – wherever the whole is to the part as the part is to whole and where the nature of materials the nature of purpose, the nature of entire performance , becomes clear as a necessity.
Wright argued that "form and function are one."

Falling Water, Bear Run, PA 1935-37 AD

Organic architecture strives to integrate space into a unified whole. Frank Lloyd Wright was not concerned with architectural style, because he believed that every building should grow naturally from its environment.

Planes differentiated and accentuated by changes in colour, texture and material - highlights scale.
Veritcal Elements constructed in native stone gives a sculptural quality though at the same still highlighting the horizontal.

The philosophy grew from the ideas of Frank Lloyd Wright's mentor, Louis Sullivan, who believed that "form follows function."

Falling Water

Wright described it as the principle of repose where forest, stream, rock and all elements of structure are combined quietly.

Features : Clustered organization around central core.

Cantilevers extend living areas with the surrounding landscape.

Concrete slabs exaggerate horizontal floor and roof planescantilever from a central core.

Pfeiffer quotes Wright as "I had an idea that the horizontal planes in buildings belong to the ground".

Falling Water Interior

Characterized by - Strong visual accent.
Hearth symbolic - comfort

Detail draws eye to ceiling - emphasize the horizontal and change in form.

Continuation of material in interior harmonises both inside and out.

Attempt to blur the distinction between the inside and exterior.

Simple interior encourages the incorporation ot hte outdoors as part of the overall design.

Repetition of form in furniture continues to accentuate the horizontal.

Open space emhasizes the scale of room.

Robie House, Chicago, IL 1906-09 AD

FLW spatial geometry reflects his structure invention ; lighting reinforce space , furnishing reiterated his linear schemes , construction materials and his every ornamental detail is integrated with larger concerns.

Robie House, Chicago.

Even though the horizontal plane is the dominant characteristic of Wright's designs there is still a complex arrangement of space as demonstrated by the 3-dimensional quality of the facade.

Robie House: Interior

Materials repeated on inside creates texture- Hormonious use of materials.

Ceiling , wall and floor planes all emphasize the horizontal.

Vertical panes in contrast to the horizontal effect created by repetition of windows.

Prairie School

Broad, gently sloping roofs with low chimneys, balconies and terraces extending in several directions.

Emphasis on natural materials-woods stone.
Leaded windows patterned with colored glass.
Bands of casement windows.

Wood strips to emphasize structural elements horizontal lines.
windows grouped in horizontal bands, integration with the landscape.

solid construction & indigenous materials.

Horizontal lines were thought to evoke and relate to the native prairie landscape.

Prairie School

The RobieHouse is one of the best known examples of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie style of architecture.
The term "Prairie School" was not actually used by these architects to describe themselves ; the term was coined by H. Allen Brooks, one of the first architectural historians to write extensively about these architects and their work.

The Prairie school shared an embrace of handcrafting and craftsman guilds as a reaction against the new assembly line, mass production manufacturing techniques, which they felt created inferior products and dehumanized workers.

Winslow House,Oak Park, IL 1893 AD

The Winslow House, combined Sullivanesque ornamentation with the emphasis on simple geometry and horizontal lines that is typical in Wright houses.

Ward Willet House,Highland Park, IL , 1893 AD

Unity Temple, Oak Park, IL 1906 AD

The darkness and the theological ornamentation that was typical of church interiors was interpreted by Wright with modern motives, inspired by basic design principles and the use of material.
Space became a sculptural element, that could be energized, interlocking vertical and horizontal voids.
His revolutionary use of poured concrete created a huge unity of flowing space unified by ornamental banding.
The reality of the building did not consist in the walls and roof of that structure but in the space in here to be lived in.

Taliesin East, Spring Green, WI 1911 AD

Taliesin West, Scottsdale, AZ 1938 AD

Johnson Wax Administration Building, Racine, WI.1936-39 AD

A totally different, but no less innovative design was the Johnson Wax Administration Building in Racine, Wisconsin. Its magical interior creates a sense of a protected community, an ideal workplace where space is allotted according to egalitarian principles. All curves, the huge interior is one vast work area. A ceiling of glass tubing between circle-topped columns admits diffused light to give a submarine glow to the interior. The form of Wright’s sixty columns (each 30 feet high) has been compared to lily pads or golf trees. Although fanciful, they serve a practical function. The hollow tubes are storm drains.

Guggenheim Museum,NYC 1948 AD

yet another incarnation of Wright as a discoverer of form. In it he finally achieved a building of continously rolling space. The building rises as a warm beige spiral from its site on Fifth Avenue. Its unique central geometry was meant to allow visitors to easily experience Guggenheim's collection of nonobjective geometric paintings by taking an elevator to the top level and then viewing artworks by walking down the slowly descending, central spiral ramp, which features a floor embedded with circular shapes and triangular light fixtures to complement the geometric nature of the structure.

Guggenheim Museum Interior

its interior is similar to the inside of a seashell. Its helix gradually expands in a spreading spiral ramp for ultimate flow. The interior is an ocean of space capped by a skylight dome.