Frank Lloyd Wright
In the pantheon of American architectural gods, Frank Lloyd Wright is lauded above all others. Not only did he enjoy greater fame in the United States than any architect before him, but also he was the first American architect to exert influence on an international scale.
Wright's career began in 1887 in Chicago, where he worked in the office of Louis Sullivan, the most progressive American architect of his day. From Sullivan, Wright learned much about new materials such as concrete and steel-framing that he would later use in realizing many of his innovative design ideas. Wright's practice as an independent architect really took off in the first years of the twentieth century, when he unveiled his plans for the Prairie House. With its flexile, open-plan design and large, sloping roofs (a Wright trademark), the Prairie House was hugely popular. Many years later Wright was to extend and develop the idea of the Prairie House into the Usonian House. These flat-rooted structures broke down the distinction between the outside and the inside worlds, with walls and doors of glass that looked and opened out onto gardens. The interiors, often with furniture designed by Wright, were infinitely flexible, with movable screens instead of walls.
Wright was equally in demand for grand public buildings as for domestic ones. In 1936 he designed the headquarters of the Johnson Wax Company in Racine, Wisconsin. Wright believed in the sanctity of the workplace, and the building is without conventional windows with their distracting views. Inside, lilypad columns rise to the ceiling, reaffirming Wright's claim that all his buildings, even those built of concrete, were "organic." HIs final masterpiece, designed when he was nearly ninety, was Soloman R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. This futuristic structure is designed around a gently spiraling ramp, a shape which is repeated in the curving, windowless walls of the exterior.
Frank Lloyd Wright presents a panorama of his long and varied career. An introduction setting his work in context is complemented by commentary on his finest buildings and a selection of stunning photographs, mostly in color.
New York, NY
Architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright
Costantino, Maria, "Frank Lloyd Wright" (1991). Frank Lloyd Wright Book Collection. 123.