Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright The way you live is being directly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wrights innovations in residential architecture. Mr. Wrights organic architecture was a radical departure form the traditional architecture of his day, which was dominated by European styles that dated back hundreds of years or even millennia.

He contributed the Prairie and Usonian houses to the familiar of American residential design, and elements of his designs can be found in a large proportion of homes today. While most of his designs were single-family, his collections include houses of worship, skyscrapers, resorts, museums, government offices, gas stations, bridges, and other masterpieces showing the diversity of Frank Lloyd Wrights talent. Not only did Wright possess genius skills in the spatial cognition, his approach to architecture through geometric manipulation demonstrates one aspect of his creativeness.Frank Lloyd Wrights views on architectural space, ornamentation, and relationship to site, and concerning the place of architecture in art, life, and philosophy have inspired generations of architects and artists all over the world. Frank Lloyd Wrights career was notable in several areas. As a practicing architect, he designed several hundred buildings, of which around 500 were built. Within his roles of architectural theoretician and academic, he wrote several books on architecture, and founded and ran a successful school in the field, training many architects.

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Mr.Wrights design went beyond the building to the finest details of the interior design spaces, including furniture, art glass, and other aspects of interior designs. Frank Lloyd Wrights views on architectural space, ornamentation, and relationship to building sites, and concerning the place of architecture in art, life and philosophy have inspired generations of architects and artists all over the world. Frank Lloyd Wright was an innovator who drastically influenced architecture of the twentieth century around the world. Frank Lloyd Wright was an architect with a democratic vision. By integrating the city into the countryside, Wright was envisioning a decentralized city that stressed agrarian, or rural pastoral, living and familial connectivity.Many of Wrights ideals and visions are rooted in his life experiences.

Specifically, his childhood experiences in the countryside made Wright highly critical of the city, which ignited his vision of the city rooted in the Jeffersonian values. He believed the role of an architect to be that of a builder, not only of buildings but of the social structure, because he felt that if society were given conditions in which building had intelligence and raison detre the whole structure of human society itself would have the substance of strength and beauty. It was stated in Brooks book Writings on Wright that Wright was Interested in politics and affairs of the state, he believed that architecture as the plan-in-structure of all things was the all-inclusive basis for every civilization and culture. He repeatedly related architecture to democracy, considering democracy the highest form of aristocracy man has ever known, a society based on the sovereignty of the individual (24-5). Wrights early work reflects his democratic ideals, especially Oak Park, as an importance was placed on family.

His ideas about democracy grew into the vision of Broadacre City, which emphasized the important influence that technology would have on his envisioned democracy. It was through this vision that Wright sought to build for citizens of the United States. His vision of the city was placed in the countryside, where people could live free from centralization. Here nature and city would blend into one entity. Within this entity, the structural forms will be built to merge into and become one with the natural landscape.

Frank Lloyd Wrights childhood experiences would later have a significant impact on his architectural and city designs. After spending a part of his childhood moving from place to place, the Wright family settled at his maternal familys farm in Wisconsin. Although the family customs and life had an effect on Wrights democratic philosophy, the greatest impact on his work came from the Froebel blocks his mother had purchased for this future architect.

Before her son was born, his mother had decided that her son was going to be a great architect. Using Froebel geometric blocks to entertain and educate her son, she appears to have struck on a genius her son possessed.His early childhood travels, life on the farm, and manipulations of the Froebel blocks would all influence the physical and the ideological aspects of Wrights designs. Wright would have his self-promotion, along with his mothers support, pushing him to achieve great things in the field of Architecture for decades to come. At the age of twenty, Wright moved to Chicago where the great fires had destroyed most of the old city allowing it to be built with the skyscrapers of glass and steel. This complimented the trend of residential design, which used Victorian influence. Wright found a job as a draftsman with Chicagos Silsbee Architectural Firm, where his first project, the Hillside Home, was built for his Aunts Nell and Jane.Frank left his first position within a year and found a position with one of Chicagos best-known firms at the turn of the century, Alder & Sullivan.

Wrights second employer influenced the young architect in a way that would change the course of American architecture forever. He apprenticed to Sullivan, who was to become Wrights greatest mentor. Wright learned much from Sullivan in the aspects of design and architectural philosophy.

According to Fishman, Sullivan created an Architecture for Democracy, where democracy was defined as freedom for individual development and expression (104-5).Sullivan also attached great importance on the architect that is similar to Wrights view of the architect. For Sullivan, the well-being of the republic depended upon the architect to create forms reflective of and contributive to the democratic idea (105). By adopting the credo of democratic form, Wright took to designing homes that reflected his growing democratic and symmetric designs. While with the firm, his assignment to the residential design contracts led him to moonlight beyond the firms contracts. This led him to leave the firm and establish on his own.While in Chicago, Wright began to come into his own as an architect and as a social philosopher.

Using the Lloyd-Jones family philosophies of unity, truth, harmony, and simplicity and Sullivans approach of form follows function, Wright quickly built up a practice in residential architecture. Patience, concentration, attention to detail, and constant revision marked Frank Lloyd Wrights work in the studio. Wright took an integral approach to architecture by designing the interior furnishings of the buildings as well as the structure. Using nature as inspiration and geometric abstraction, both obvious influences from his childhood in Wisconsin, Wright created a unique type of architecture, which would become known to the general public as the Prairie style.Marked by horizontal lines, this form would dominate his work from 1900-1913. Wright included the technology of the cities into the suburban residences of his design. Wright would continue to pass through at least two more recognizable stages in his architectural design, the textile block (1917-1924), and the Usonian (1936-1959). His homes at Oak Park were developed simply to reflect democratic individuality and the family, especially evident in Wrights use of open spaces that centered around the hearth (111).

Implicit in Wrights designs at Oak Park was his developing views on society, which were highly influenced by the socio-political stances of the Progressive Party.According to Rosenbaum, the Progressives gave great weight to the individual and to the developing technologies used by corporate enterprises. As Rosenbaum points out, Wright was influenced by the progressive causes of reform, modernization, better economic balance between cities and rural areas, equality between the sexes, and restraint of the excesses of the ruling class and advancement opportunities for the less fortunate (28). These social beliefs and views on modernization not only had an impact on Wrights early work, but also impacted his later development of Broadacre City. Wrights early criticisms of the city are evident in his later critique of the modern city.

In Wrights The Living City, he points to the problems inherent in the mechanization and centralization of the city and the attempts to develop solutions that focus on Jeffersonian democratic beliefs.On problems he sees with the modern city is that centralization has created a social structure based on the notion of rent, where property and work are given monetary values that serve to benefit the select few. From this scenario grows a society based on a system of production that controls consumption, which, consequently, creates a society that is functionally inorganic.

Another problem Wright has with the modern, centralized city is the overabundance of skyscrapers in the overcrowded city. These skyscrapers not only bring about the exploitation of the citizens; they also bring about a concentration of traffic within the city. As a higher concentration of citizens inhabits the city, the traffic problem causes the city to become overwhelmed by population (30-60). Therefore, over the course of his career, Wrights criticism of the modern city remained an …

Frank Lloyd Wright

These ideas proposed by Wright represent a half century of ingenuity and unrivaled creativity. Wright was unquestionably a architectural genius and was years ahead of his time. The biggest obstacle which held Wright back throughout his career was the lack of technogaly that was present during his time. As a architect, Wright accomplished more that any other in history, with the possible exception of DaVincci or Michangelo. His philosophy of Organic Architecture showed the world that form and function could both by achieved to create a house that was both true to nature and affordable.

Wrights homes, have today become monuments of greatness and distictionn. Most of them serve as museums, displaying the his ideas and the achievements of a lifetime of innovation. It wasn’t until Wright published “The Natural House” however, that he fully was able to illustrate all of his ideas relating toward housing. In the “Natural House” wright defines the meaning of Organic Architecture and how it can be applied to creating housing which provides a closeness to nature for the occupents.

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Wright was undoubtly a romantic and individualist. His feeling toward nature and self integrity can best be shown by comparing them to those shared by Emerson and Thoreau. Wrights deep love of nature and his individualism were formed from the events which influenced him as a child and up until his days working for Louis Sullivan.

In order to fully understand the ideas which Wright proposed through his philosophy of Organic Architecture, one must first understand the events and influences which led to their creation. As a child, Wrights parents always encouraged him to be a free thinker and individualist. Both of his parents were intelligent and creative people by nature. They, of all people had the greatest influence on Wright. Throughout his life they were extreamly supportive of Wrights dream of becoming an architect, and always made sure that he had books and pictures of buildings that he could study and learn from. Wrights parents had little money, but they always found the extra money needed to support their childrens intrusts.When Wright became old enough to begin learning about working, his parents felt that sending him to his uncles dairy farm during his summer break from school would provide him with the proper work ethics and morals needed to become a responsible adult.

The work on the farm was rigorous and seemingly endless to Wright. He despised the chores which he was required to do. Wright attempted to run away almost each summer that he was sent there. However, his kind but stern uncle promised him that all of his hard work would make him a better person and would teach him responsibility. As the years passed, Frank began to dread working on the farm less and less. He became fascinated with nature and developed a deep respect for it. It was there, on a small Wisconsin dairy farm where Wright began to ponder the theory of integrating architecture with nature. Wright attributed his love toward nature and his respect toward it, to the many summers which he spent on his uncles farm.

The other major influence in Wrights life, was the collapsing of the State of Wisconsin Capitol Building. At the time, Wright was only 13 when he witnessed the building collapse upon itself, killing all 40 workers who were inside it. Severely traumatized and unable to sleep for weeks, Wright kept wondering why the tragic incident occurred.

Weeks later, it was revealed that the cause of the buildings collapse was a lack of support from the pilars which held up the above 3 stories. The architect and the builder both reglected to test the pilars before they were introduced into the buildings structural design. After Wright learned this, he vowed that if he became a architect, he would thourghly test all of the support membranes used in the construction of all the building projects which he oversaw.

The greatest factor which Wright put forth in his philosophy of Organic Architecture was that of safety. Wright felt that all buildings, whether they were commercial or residential should be built and designed so that they were structuraly sound as well as true to nature. Wright illustrates his feeling toward the importenance of safety by saying “There is no excuse which I have heard, that can compensate for a poorly designed building. The only thing that I can say about a individual who takes no responsibility for his ideas is either lazy or a truely uncareing person”(Wright, The The Natural House,74).

Wright seldom talked about the tragic callamiaty which he witnessed as youth, but it was clear that the memory left a deep impression upon him. At only 16 years of age, Wright began studing Civil Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. Growing board with his clases, Wright left his studies and went to Chicago hoping that he could obtain a job as a architects apprentice. Fortunatly Wright sucessfully managed to secure a apprenticespib job with Louis Sullivan, renowned modern architect. Wright worked with Louis Sullivan and his partner Dankmar Adler, for 6 years. During this time, Wright learned form Sullivan what his studies at the University of Wisconsin lacked: a design concept which was new, and was logical to Wright. Sullivan shared the same feeling toward about Wrights philosophy of Organic Architecture.

Sullivan showed Wright how his philosophy could be applied to the housin needs of the late 1800’s. Without Sullivans direction and guidence, Wright may have never been able to accomplish what he did. Wright referred to Sullivan as “Lieber Miester” because Wright felt that he was truely a master at his work and should be addressed with the utmost of respect.

Unfortunatly, when Sullivan found out that Wright was moonlighting, he was forced to fire him. Sullivan felt betrayed and was left sadned by the incident. Wright was so involved with his ideas that he neglected to respect the trust and teachings put forth by his teachings.

After Wright first began to recieve praise for his early design work, he felt it necessary to fully communicate and define his philosophy of Organic Architecture, so that everyone could get a clear picture of it’s ideas. He to accomplished this by expressing his ideas in a book called “The Natural House”. Of all books which Wright published, “The Natural House” had the greatest impact. As Emerson and Threau proposed divine models for behavior and self integrety, In “The Natural House” Wright proposed a divine model for what he considered to be the perfect house.

Wright stated that a house should be as close to nature as possible. He illustrates this by stating “A house which is constructed in a manner which is complementive to nature, rather than insulting, is one that will last the longest and be the most attractive.”Words/ Pages : 1,195 / 24


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