Franklin Lloyd Wright, Right?
Through the course of history architecture has emerged an amazing and unique field of study. Working in both art and science can leave designers at odds with builders. Of course modern technology has done much to bridge this gap yet that wasn’t always the case. One man who helped changed the way architecture is thought of was Frank Lloyd Wright.
For most of its history, American architecture was merely a copy of whatever was going on in Europe. During the early part of the 1900’s American architects were searching for newer, more American style of design. Out of that thought a group called the Prairie School grew out of the American heartland. Write was one of its key leaders and innovators. This school of thought emphasized what they called “organic architecture.” Its core belief was that buildings should reflect the landscape and nature around them. One key feature of the Prairie School of thought was to use long, low, wide and flat roofs to blend in with prairie America was famed for.
Write however, became obsessed with the idea and took this belief to a whole new level. Not only would he designed buildings to be more organic but would even include local rocks and minerals, trees and geometries to make his buildings feel and look more natural. To him it wasn’t just a building, it was a part of the environment. He wanted his buildings to fit in seamlessly with the world around it. Not only did he apply this to the exterior of a buildings but Write would tie in every facet of a building. He would work moods and emotions in each and room. He would so far as to have specific pieces of furniture designed to fir certain rooms.
When designing homes Wright also developed a style he called “Usonian” to distinguish his work from previous styles of architecture. This not only incorporates the nature around the home, but expands into interior features as well. They were designed to be middle class homes that emphasis the family unit. Kitchens and bedrooms were often smaller, to encourage people not to spend so much time in them alone. Kitchens would flow naturally into the dining room which would flow into the living room. Living rooms were often centered around fireplace or some other anchor piece. Many would go so far as to have built in costume furniture to sit in.
Write was incredibly productive individual. He designed over 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. He also wrote over 20 books and dozens of articles. All of this while going on international speaking tours in Europe and America. Not only did he design homes but also churches, offices, schools, skyscrapers, hotel and museum. In fact, one of his most famous pieces is the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Wrights legacy is one that did just build building but transformed the very nature of his field.