Frank Lloyd Wright Public Buildings
"Frank Lloyd Wright's reputation rests largely on his houses designed for private clients, but as the author notes, 'Wright's lifelong adherence to the rugged individualism of the private did not....prevent him from concerning himself with the problems of society at large....'
All of wright's public buildings reveal the extent of the architect's pioneering techniques and ideas. In 1906, Wright had been among the first to make use of reinforced concrete (Unity Temple, Oak Park, Illinois), and in 1916-22 he designed the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, where the success of his deep-pile foundations and integrated concrete construction in resisting earthquake damage was later proved. More significant in a social sense were the Larkin Building, Buffalo, New York (1904) - a 'single-purposed social organism' concerned with the productive activity of a large number of collaborating employees - and the Johnson Company's administrative offices (1936-1939) at Racine, Wisconsin, of which Wright himself wrote: 'Organic architecture designed this great building to be as inspiring a place to work in as any cathedral ever was in which to worship.' At Racine too the later tower (1944-50) housing research laboratories reveals the practical application of a much earlier idea: the analogy with a tree, with a tap-root foundation, and the central trunk with cantilevered floors.
The aspect of Wright's buildings that the illustrations particularly reveal is his preoccupation with internal space and light which runs through his work - from the clerestory lighting of Unity Temple to the Gugenheim Museum (1959) in New York, with its spiral ramp around a central domed void.
Toward the end of Wright's career, social ideas of long standing, notably the utopian Broadacre City concept, were mingled with fantastic ideas for future projects, including a mile-high 528-story skyscraper, which with patriarchal authority he announced to the world. Since his death in 1959 his work, including his last - the posthumously built Marin County Civic Center, San Rafael, California - has been continued by the Taliesin Fellowship which he founded."
Simon and Schuster
New York, NY
Architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright
Pawley, Martin and Futagawa, Yukio, "Frank Lloyd Wright Public Buildings" (1970). Frank Lloyd Wright Book Collection. 181.