Fran k lloyd wright

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A brief history of America's greatest Architect

A brief history of America's greatest Architect

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  • 1. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT An American Genius
  • 2. AN INTRODUCTION Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1000 structures and completed 532 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by his for Fallingwater (1935), which has been called "the best all-time work of American architecture". Wright was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture and developed the concept of the Usonian home, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States. His work includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass. Wright authored 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. His colorful personal life often made headlines, most notably for the 1914 fire and murders at his Taliesin studio. Already well known during his lifetime, Wright was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as "the greatest American architect of all time
  • 3. THE EARLY YEARS Frank Lloyd Wright was born Frank Lincoln Wright in the farming town of Richland Center, Wisconsin in 1867. His father, William Carey Wright was a locally admired orator, music teacher, occasional lawyer, and itinerant minister. William Wright had met and married Anna Lloyd Jones, a county school teacher.. Originally from Massachusetts, William Wright had been a Baptist minister, but he later joined his wife's family in the Unitarian faith. Anna was a member of the large, prosperous and well-known Lloyd Jones family of Unitarians. Both of Wright's parents were strong-willed individuals with idiosyncratic interests that they passed on to him. According to his biography his mother declared, when she was expecting her first child, that he would grow up to build beautiful buildings. She decorated his nursery with engravings of English cathedrals torn from a periodical to encourage the infant's ambition
  • 4. GROWING UP Wright attended a Madison high school, but there is no evidence he ever graduated. He was admitted to the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1886.There he joined Phi Delta Theta fraternity, took classes part-time for two semesters, and worked with a professor of civil engineering. In 1887, Wright left the school without taking a degree) and arrived in Chicago in search of employment. As a result of the devastating Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and recent population boom, new development was plentiful in the city. He later recalled that his first impressions of Chicago were that of grimy neighborhoods, crowded streets, and disappointing architecture, yet he was determined to find work. Within days, and after interviews with several prominent firms, he was hired as a draftsman with the architectural firm of Joseph Lyman Silsbee Although Silsbee adhered mainly to Victorian and revivalist architecture, Wright found his work to be more "gracefully picturesque" than the other "brutalities" of the period. Still, Wright aspired for more progressive work.
  • 5. 1888 -1893 SOME HIGHLIGHTS In 1889, Wright married his first wife, Catherine Lee "Kitty" Tobin. The two had met around a year earlier during activities at All Souls Church. Sullivan (his new boss) did his part to facilitate the financial success of the young couple by granting Wright a five-year employment contract. Wright made one more request: "Mr. Sullivan, if you want me to work for you as long as five years, couldn't you lend me enough money to build a little house?" With Sullivan's $5,000 loan, Wright purchased a lot at the corner of Chicago and Forest Avenues in the suburb of Oak Park. The existing Gothic Revival house was given to his mother, while a compact Shingle style house was built alongside for Wright and Catherine Wright’s home in Oak Park, IL 1890 The Walter Gale House (1893) is Queen Anne in style yet features window bands and a cantilevered porch roof which hint at Wright's developing aesthetics
  • 6. TRANSITION AND EXPERIMENTATION (1893–1900) After leaving Louis Sullivan, Wright established his own practice on the top floor of the Sullivan designed Schiller Building in Chicago Wright's projects during this period followed two basic models. On one hand, there was his first independent commission, the Winslow House, which combined Sullivanesque ornamentation with the emphasis on simple geometry and horizontal lines that is typical in Wright houses. The Francis Apartments (1895, demolished 1971), Heller House (1896), Rollin Furbeck House (1897), and Husser House (1899) were designed in the same mode. For more conservative clients, Wright conceded to design more traditional dwellings. These included the Dutch Colonial Revival style Bagley House (1894), Tudor Revival style Moore House I (1895), and Queen Anne style Charles E. Roberts House (1896). As an emerging architect, Wright could not afford to turn down clients over disagreements in taste, but even his most conservative designs retained simplified massing and occasional Sullivan inspired details
  • 7. PHOTO GALLERY FOR THIS PERIOD Nathan G. Moore House (1895), Oak Park, IL Wright's studio (1898) viewed from Chicago Avenue William H. Winslow House (1893) in River Forest, Illinois Parker House, 1892 Francis Wooley House. 1890’s
  • 8. THE PRAIRIE HOUSES Wright's residential designs were known as "prairie houses" because the designs complemented the land around Chicago. These houses featured extended low buildings with shallow, sloping roofs, clean sky lines, suppressed chimneys, overhangs and terraces all using unfinished materials. The houses are credited with being the first examples of the "open plan". Windows whenever possible are long, and low, allowing a connection between the interior and nature, outside, that was new to western architecture and reflected the influence of Japanese architecture on Wright. The manipulation of interior space in residential and public buildings are hallmarks of his style.
  • 9. PRAIRIE STYLE CONTINUED.. Wright's residential designs were known as "prairie houses" because the designs complemented the land around Chicago. These houses featured extended low buildings with shallow, sloping roofs, clean sky lines, suppressed chimneys, overhangs and terraces all using unfinished materials. The houses are credited with being the first examples of the "open plan". Windows whenever possible are long, and low, allowing a connection between the interior and nature, outside, that was new to western architecture and reflected the influence of Japanese architecture on Wright. The manipulation of interior space in residential and public buildings are hallmarks of his style. Public buildings in the Prairie style include Unity Temple, the home of the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Oak Park. As a lifelong Unitarian and member of Unity Temple, Wright offered his services to the congregation after their church burned down in 1905. The community agreed to hire him and he worked on the building from 1905 to 1909. Wright later said that Unity Temple was the edifice in which he ceased to be an architect of structure, and became an architect of space. Many architects consider it the world's first modern building, because of its unique construction of only one material: reinforced concrete. This would become a hallmark of the modernists who followed Wright, such as Mies van der Rohe, and even some post-modernists, such as Frank Gehry.
  • 10. PRAIRIE STYLE PHOTO GALLERY Hillside Home School, 1902, Taliesin, Sp ring Green, Wisconsin Darwin D. Martin House, Buffalo, New York Chicago, IL Talesin West The Mercer Home
  • 11. THE STORY CONTINUES Family abandonment Local gossips noticed Wright's flirtations, and he developed a reputation in Oak Park as a man-about-town. His family had grown to six children, but Wright was not paternal and the brood required most of Catherine's attention. In 1903, Wright designed a house for Edwin Cheney, a neighbor in Oak Park, and immediately took a liking to Cheney's wife, Mamah Cheney. Cheney was a modern woman with interests outside the home. She was an early feminist and Wright viewed her as his intellectual equal. The two fell in love, and they became the talk of the town, as they often could be seen taking rides in Wright's automobile through Oak Park. Wright's wife, Kitty, sure that this attachment would fade as the others had, refused to grant him a divorce. Neither would Edwin Cheney grant one to Mamah. In 1909, even before the Robie House was completed, Wright and Mamah Cheney went together to Europe, leaving their own spouses and children behind. Scholars argue that Wright felt by 1907 that he had done everything he could do with the Prairie Style, particularly from the standpoint of the single-family house. He was not getting larger commissions for commercial or public buildings, which frustrated him. Mamah Cheney
  • 12. THE EUROPEAN MOVE & RETURN Wright remained in Europe for almost a year and set up home first in Florence, Italy — where he lived with his eldest son Lloyd — and later in Fiesole, Italy where he lived with Mamah. During this time, Edwin Cheney granted Mamah a divorce, though Kitty still refused to grant one to her husband. After Wright's return to the United States in October 1910, Wright persuaded his mother to buy land for him in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The land, bought on April 10, 1911, was adjacent to land held by his mother's family, the Lloyd-Joneses. Wright began to build himself a new home, which he called Taliesin, by May 1911. In 1922, Kitty Wright finally granted Wright a divorce. Under the terms of the divorce, Wright was required to wait one year before he could marry his then-partner, Maude "Miriam" Noel. In 1923, Wright's mother, Anna (Lloyd Jones) Wright, died. Wright wed Miriam Noel in November 1923, but her addiction to morphine led to the failure of the marriage in less than one year. In 1924, after the separation but while still married, Wright met Olga (Olgivanna) Hinzenburg at a Petrograd Ballet performance in Chicago. They moved in together at Taliesin in 1925, and soon Olgivanna was pregnant with their daughter, Iovanna, born on December 2, 1925
  • 13. CALIFORNIA OR TEXTILE BLOCK STYLE In the 1920s, Wright designed a number of houses in California using precast "textile" concrete blocks reinforced by an internal system of bars. Wright first used his textile block system on the John Storer House in Hollywood, California, in 1923. The house is now used in films, television, and print media to represent the future. Typically Wrightian is the joining of the structure to its site by a series of terraces that reach out into and reorder the landscape, making it an integral part of the architect's vision. According to Wright's organic theory, all components of the building should appear unified, as though they belong together. Nothing should be attached to it without considering the effect on the whole. To unify the house to its site, Wright often used large expanses of glass to blur the boundary between the indoors and outdoors. This style, known as the "textile block system", is exhibited in the his textile block designs. The system arose from Wright's desire to wed machine-age production techniques with organic architecture-the principle that a structure should look as though it naturally grew on a site-so as to make his designs affordable to people of modest means.
  • 14. PHOTO GALLERY – CALIFORNIA STYLE The Ennis House, Los Angeles, CA The Storer House, Los Angeles, CA
  • 15. THE ORGANIC STYLE During the later 1920s and 1930s Wright's Organic style had fully matured with the design of Graycliff, Fallingwater and Taliesin West. One of Wright's most famous private residences was built from 1934 to 1937— Fallingwater—for Mr. and Mrs. Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr., at Mill Run, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. It was designed according to Wright's desire to place the occupants close to the natural surroundings, with a stream and waterfall running under part of the building. Wright wanted the new residents to live with the waterfalls, to make them part of their everyday lives. He didn't want them to just look at them every now and again. Constructed over a 30-foot waterfall, the house may look very big on the outside but on the inside it is quite small, which surprises some visitors.[51] It was made with three bedrooms, a massive living room and a dining room. The house was more of a design for a family getaway, not for a live-in family. The construction is a series of cantilevered balconies and terraces, using limestone for all verticals and concrete for the horizontals. The house cost $155,000, including the architect's fee of $8,000. It was one of Wright's most expensive pieces. Kaufmann's own engineers argued that the design was not sound. They were overruled by Wright, but the contractor secretly added extra steel to the horizontal concrete elements. In 1994, Robert Silman and Associates examined the building and developed a plan to restore the structure. In the late 1990s, steel supports were added under the lowest cantilever until a detailed structural analysis could be done. In March 2002, post-tensioning of the lowest terrace was completed.
  • 16. FALLING WATER, MILL RUN, PA
  • 17. USONIAN HOUSES Intended to be highly practical houses for middle-class clients, and designed to be run without servants, Usonian houses often featured small kitchens — called "workspaces" by Wright — that adjoined the dining spaces. These spaces in turn flowed into the main living areas, which also were characteristically outfitted with built-in seating and tables. As in the Prairie Houses, Usonian living areas focused on the fireplace. Bedrooms were typically isolated and relatively small, encouraging the family to gather in the main living areas. The conception of spaces instead of rooms was a development of the Prairie ideal; as the built-in furnishings related to the Arts and Crafts principles from which Wright's early works grew. Spatially and in terms of their construction, the Usonian houses represented a new model for independent living, and allowed dozens of clients to live in a Wright-designed house at relatively low cost. The diversity of the Usonian ideal can be seen in houses such as the Gregor S. and Elizabeth B. Affleck House (1941) in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, which projects over a ravine; and the Hanna-Honeycomb House (1937) in Palo Alto, California, which features a honeycomb planning grid. Gordon House, completed in 1963, was Wright's last Usonian design. Fewer than 60 of Wright's Usonian houses were built.
  • 18. USOINIAN PHOTO GALLERY His Usonian homes set a new style for suburban design that was a feature of countless developers. Many features of modern American homes date back to Wright, including open plans, slab-on-grade foundations, and simplified construction techniques that allowed more mechanization and efficiency in building. Charles Weltzheimer Residence (1948) in Oberlin, Ohio
  • 19. THE MIDDLE YEARS THE LEAN YEARS The years between 1922 and 1934 were both architecturally creative and fiscally catastrophic. Wright had established an office in Los Angeles, but following his return from Japan in 1922 commissions were scarce, with the exception of the four textile block houses of 1923–1924 (Millard, Storer, Freeman and Ennis). He soon abandoned the West Coast and returned to Taliesin. While only a few projects went into construction, this decade was one of great design innovation for Wright. Among the unbuilt commissions were the National Life Insurance Building (Chicago, 1924), the Gordon Strong Automobile Objective (Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland, 1925), San Marcos-in-the-Desert resort (Chandler, Arizona, 1928), and St. Mark’s-in-the- Bowerie apartment towers (New York City, 1928). In 1928, Wright married Olga Lazovich (known, daughter of a Chief Justice of Montenegro, whom he had met a few years earlier in Chicago. She proved to be the partner and stabilizing influence he needed in order to refocus on ―the cause of architecture‖ he had begun decades earlier.
  • 20. BERNARD SCHWARTZ HOUSE The Bernard Schwartz House, also known as Still Bend, is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. It is considered to be Wright's Life magazine "Dream House". Wright originally developed the design for the house for Life in 1938. The Schwartz House is one of the few Wright homes that allow guests to spend the night. This property is believed to have the oldest, continuously operating in-floor heating system in the country Richard C. Smith House The Richard C. Smith House is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed Usonian home that was constructed in Jefferson, Wisconsin in 1950. It is one of Wright's diamond module homes, a form he used in the Patrick Kinney House, the E. Clarke and Julia Arnold House and a number of other homes he designed in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The back of the house wraps around a huge oak tree
  • 21. THE DEPRESSION With few architectural commissions coming his way, Wright turned to writing and lecturing which introduced him to a larger national audience. Two important publications came out in 1932: An Autobiography and The Disappearing City. The first received widespread critical acclaim and would continue to inspire generations of young architects; the second introduced Wright’s scheme for Broadacre City, a utopian vision for decentralization that moved the city into the country. Although it received little serious consideration at the time, it would influence community development in unforeseen ways in the decades to come. At about this same time, Wright and Olgivanna founded an architectural school at Taliesin, the "Taliesin Fellowship," an apprenticeship program to provide a total learning environment, integrating not only architecture and construction, but also farming, gardening, and cooking, and the study of nature, music, art, and dance.
  • 22. SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, often referred to as The Guggenheim, is a well- known art museum located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. It is the permanent home of a renowned and continuously expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions throughout the year. The museum was established by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in 1939 as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, under the guidance of its first director, the artist Hilla von Rebay. It adopted its current name after the death of its founder, Solomon R. Guggenheim, in 1952. the cylindrical museum building, wider at the top than the bottom, was conceived as a "temple of the spirit" and is one of the 20th century's most important architectural landmarks. The building opened on October 21, 1959, replacing rented spaces used by the museum since its founding. Its unique ramp gallery extends from just under the skylight in the ceiling in a long, continuous spiral along the outer edges of the building until it reaches the ground level. The building underwent extensive expansion and renovations in 1992 (when an adjoining tower was built) and from 2005 to 2008.
  • 23. REMARKABLE RETURN With this larger community to take care of, and Wisconsin winters brutal, the winter of 1934 found the Wrights and the Fellowship in rented quarters in the warmer air of Arizona where they worked on the Broadacre City model, which would debut in Rockefeller Center in 1935. Wright was by this time still considered a great architect, but one whose time had come and gone. In 1936, Wright proved this sentiment wrong as he staged a remarkable comeback with several important commissions, including the S.C. Johnson and Son Company Administration Building in Racine, Wisconsin; Fallingwater, the country house for Edgar Kaufmann in rural Pennsylvania; and the Herbert Jacobs House (the first executed "Usonian" house) in Madison, Wisconsin. Acknowledging Wright’s stunning reentry into the architectural spotlight, the Museum of Modern Art in New York staged a comprehensive retrospective exhibition that opened in 1940. In June 1943, undeterred by a world at war, Wright received a letter that initiated the most important, and most challenging commission of his late career. Baroness Hilla von Rebay wrote asking him to design a building to house the Solomon R. Guggenheim collection of non-objective paintings. Wright responded enthusiastically, never anticipating the tremendous amount of time and energy this project would consume before its completion sixteen years later.
  • 24. BETH SHOLOM CONGREGATION Beth Sholom Congregation is a Conservative synagogue located in the Philadelphia suburb of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. It is the only synagogue designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Beth Sholom is Hebrew for House of Peace. The building has been called a startling, translucent, modernist evocation of an ancient temple, transposed to a Philadelphia suburb by Frank Lloyd Wright "Beth Sholom Synagogue ... is a new National Historic Landmark because of its significance in the history of American architecture. The glazed glass pyramidal tower, built in the 1950s, reflects two dominant metaphors—the tent and the mountain—to convey the sense of a collective sacredness. It is nationally significant as one of Wright's most important commissions during his long and productive career.
  • 25. THE LAST DECADES With the end of the war in 1945, many apprentices returned and work again flowed into the studio. Completed public projects over the next decade included the Research Tower for the SC Johnson Company, a Unitarian meeting house in Madison, a skyscraper in Oklahoma, and several buildings for Florida Southern College. Other, ultimately unbuilt, projects included a hotel for Dallas, Texas, two large civic commissions for Pittsburgh, a sports club for Hollywood, a mile-high tower for Chicago, a department store for Ahmedabad, India, and a plan for Greater Baghdad.
  • 26. KALITA HUMPHREYS THEATER The Kalita Humphreys Theater is a historic theater in Dallas, Texas (USA). It is one of only three surviving theaters by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and one of the last completed buildings he designed. It was the official home of the Dallas Theater Center from 1959 to 2009. Suntop Homes The Suntop Homes, also known under the early name of The Ardmore Experiment, were quadruple residences located in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and based largely upon the 1935 conceptual Broadacre City model of the minimum houses. The design was commissioned by Otto Tod Mallery of the Tod Company in 1938 in an attempt to set a new standard for the entry-level housing market in the United States and to increase single-family dwelling density in the suburbs.
  • 27. THE END Wright opened his last decade with work on a large exhibition, Frank Lloyd Wright: Sixty Years of Living Architecture, which was soon on an international tour traveling to Florence, Paris, Zurich, Munich, Rotterdam , and Mexico City, before returning to the United States for additional venues. Impressively energetic for man in his eighties, he continued to travel extensively, lecture widely, and write prolifically. He was still actively involved with all aspects of work including frequent trips to New York to oversee construction of the Guggenheim Museum when, in April of 1959, he was suddenly stricken by an illness which forced his hospitalization. He died April 9, two months shy of his ninety-second birthday.
  • 28. LEGACY During his seventy-year career, Wright created over 1,100 designs nearly half of which were realized. These included commercial buildings, apartment towers, recreational complexes, museums, religious houses, residences for the wealthy and those of more modest income, furniture, lighting features, textiles, and art glass. In creating what he called an ―architecture for democracy,‖ he redefined our concept of space, offering everyone the opportunity to live and grow in nourishing environments, connected physically and spiritually to the natural world. In 1991, the American Institute of Architects named Wright the greatest American architect of all time and Architectural Record published a list of the one hundred most important buildings of the previous century. Twelve Frank Lloyd Wright buildings appeared in this list, including Fallingwater, the Robie House, the Johnson Administration Building, the Guggenheim, Taliesin, and Taliesin West. In 2000, the A.I.A. selected their top ten favorite buildings of the twentieth century: Fallingwater topped this list, with the Robie House, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Johnson Administration Building also among the select few.
  • 29. NOTE To My Friends, family & Clients, I hope you enjoyed this look into another facet of American Architecture as much I I did putting it together. As always I welcome your comments and suggestions…. Jeff Jeffrey Shapiro Realtor, Sales Agent New Jersey – New York Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Alpine-Closter Office 15 Vervalen Street, Closter, NJ 07624 (201) 519-1600 njfineliving@gmail.com www.jeffshapirorealtor.com