Frank Lloyd Wright Influences and stages in career
As for the future—the work shall grow more truly simple; more
expressive with fewer lines, fewer forms; more articulate with less labor;
more plastic; more fluent, although more coherent; more organic. It
shall grow not only to fit more perfectly the methods and processes that
are called upon to produce it, but shall further find whatever is lovely or
of good repute in method or process, and idealize it with the cleanest,
most virile stroke I can imagine. As understanding and appreciation of
life matures and deepens, this work shall prophesy and idealize the
character of the individual it is fashioned to serve more intimately, no
matter how inexpensive the result must finally be. It shall become in its
atmosphere as pure and elevating in its humble way as the trees and
flowers are in their perfectly appointed way, for only so can architecture
be worthy its high rank as a fine art, or the architect discharge the
obligation he assumes to the public—imposed upon him by the nature of
his own profession.
TOTAL DESIGN APPROACH: Work through every stage of the
project from holistic artistic design and vision in total till smallest
details of the interior and furniture. Personal stamp to every
detail in exterior and interior.
From “FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION” which was theoretical
approach of American architect Louis Sullivan till his own
theoretical statement “UNITY OF FORM AND FUNCTION”
During rich career he has accomplished and built more than 400
projects. Many different period and styles during career.
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.
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin,
on June 8, 1867, the son of William Carey Wright, a preacher and a
musician, and Anna Lloyd Jones, a teacher whose large Welsh family
had settled the valley area near Spring Green, Wisconsin.
Wright's parents divorced in 1885, making already difficult financial
circumstances even more challenging.
F.L.Wright didn’t finish specialist college (due to lack of money and
family issues). He took draftsmanship course at the State University of
Wisconsin which he dropped and started to work for Sullivan studio.
He wanted to become an architect and in 1887 he left Madison for
Chicago, where he found work with two different firms before being
hired by the prestigious partnership of Adler and Sullivan, working
directly under Louis Sullivan for six years.
• Louis Sullivan was the only architect whose influence Wright
• During this period, the firm’s work included such famous designs
as the Auditorium Building, the Walker Warehouse, the Schiller
Building, the Transportation Building at the 1893 World’s
Columbian Exposition, the Chicago Stock Exchange, the
Wainwright Building, as well as the Getty and Ryerson tombs in
Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery.
• Wright was less influenced by Sullivan’s remarkable designs than
by his philosophy and manner of thinking.
•“the creation of architecture must be natural, intuitive,“ and
“evolve from and express the environment from which it grows.“
Getty and Ryerson
tombs in Chicago’s
1924. CHARLES ENNIS HOUSE was made out of industrially produced
concrete blocks. Spirit of modernism interiors and applied technology is
used in ARTS & CRAFTS way, decorate façade in Mayan style, against he
spirit of Adolf Loos “ornament is crime”.
F.L. Wright was impressed by high-rise buildings of Chicago and
transformations that modern technology brouight to architecture
and art. Problem of monumentality withing Sullivan and Wright
architecture got dual character: classical style and stone in city
and gothic style and shingle in suburb
Inspiration found in book “Grammar of Ornament” from Oven
Jones – exotic, Chinese, Egyptian, Assyrian, Celtic ornaments
collected in a book. Owen Jones (1809 – 1874) was a London-born
architect and designer and one of the most influential design
theorists of the nineteenth century.
In Wright’s atelier in Oak Park, mural presents a man of Arabia.
The influential building blocks were developed by the German educator
Friedrich Froebel in the late 1830s and early 1840s. His system of “gifts“
was a highly structured program that taught discipline as well as simple
forms, geometric designs, and basic mathematical principles. Through
the Froebel gifts, Wright learned design principles in geometric form.
From nature, he abstracted patterns and forms. Anna Wright
instilled in her son a love of nature’s beauty and variety. This
appreciation was reinforced during the summers Wright spent on his
uncle’s farm, where he became familiar with the cycles of growth
Wright’s appreciation for music stayed with him throughout his
lifetime, a constant inspiration for his work.
Later, Louis Sullivan, through his own abstractions of nature, taught
Wright how to analyze nature, not just as it appears at the moment,
but as a process of growth and an evolution from seed to plant to
flower to seed.
“A building is only organic when the exterior and the interior exist
in unison and when both are in harmony with the character and
nature of its purpose, its reason for existance, its location, and the
time of it’s creation.”
Commercial building Prism
House Heller, 1895
House Husser, 1899
In 1889, at age twenty-two, Wright married Catherine Lee Tobin.
Anxious to build his own home, he negotiated a five-year contract with
Sullivan in exchange for the loan of the necessary money. He
purchased a wooded corner lot in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park and
built his first house, a modest residence reminiscent of the East Coast
shingle style with its prominent roof gable, but reflecting Wright’s
ingenuity as he experimented with geometric shapes and volumes in
the studio and playroom he later added for his ever-growing family of
1894. Wright set up his own studio in Chicago. The split with Sullivan,
however, presented the opportunity Wright needed to go out on his
own. He opened an office and began his quest to design homes that he
believed would truly belong on the American prairie.
The William H. Winslow House was Wright’s first independent
These houses reflected the long, low horizontal prairie on which they
sat with low-pitched roofs, deep overhangs, no attics or basements,
and generally long rows of casement windows that further
emphasized the horizontal theme.
Some of Wright's most important residential works are:
1. the Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York (1903);
2. the Avery Coonley House in Riverside, Illinois (1907); and
3. the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago (1908).
Important public commissions included:
1. the Larkin Company Administration Building in Buffalo (1903,
demolished 1950) and
2. Unity Temple in Oak Park (1905).
Free open plan
House living room assembled around the hearth (brick or
stone fire place) – moral and spiritual center of house
House opens on the landscape
Wide projecting roof
Windows that occupy all sides
Dominant horizontals and vertical chimney
One level house plan
Low slope roof
Commercial buildings - unified space with light from above
(skylight) surrounded by galleries
Frank Lloyd Wright designed some 14
buildings for Japan: an embassy, a
school, two hotels and a temporary
hotel annex, a commercial-residential
complex, a theater, an official
residence for the prime minister and
six private residences. Of these, six
were built: the Imperial Hotel and
Annex, the Jiyu Gakuen School, the
Aisaku Hayashi House, the Arinobu
Fukuhara House and the Tazaemon
His 1893 visits to Japan’s national pavilion at the World’s Columbian
Exposition in Chicago had a lasting affect on the young architect. He
first went to Japan in 1905, and returned from the trip with a large
selection of prints, many of which he intended to sell. Later, he resided
in Japan while working on Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, giving him the
chance to deepen his appreciation of Japanese nature and culture as
seen in woodblock prints.
“At last I had found one country on earth where
simplicity, as nature, is supreme”
He returned from his first trip to Japan with hundreds of ukiyo-e
(woodblock) prints, planning to sell them in America.
Tokonoma as inspiration, center of house, interior divisions, flexibility
Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, 1912 - 1922
U.S. Embassy (Project), Tokyo, 1914
Aisaku Hayashi House, Tokyo, 1917
Odawara Hotel (Project), Odawara, 1917
Ginza Motion Picture Theater (Project), Tokyo, 1918
Mihara House (Project), Tokyo, 1918
Arinobu Fukuhara House, Hakone, 1918
Tadashiro Inoue House (Project), Tokyo, 1918
Tazaemon Yamamura House, Ashiya, 1918
Imperial Hotel Annex, Tokyo, 1920
Shimpei Goto House (Project), Tokyo, 1921
Jiyu Gakuen School, Tokyo, 1921
Prime Minister's Residence (Project), Tokyo, 1922
Hibiya Triangle Building (Project), Tokyo, 1922
Wright began designing the new Imperial Hotel in 1912, and
spent 11 years nurturing the masterpiece to completion. Located
on a prime site in central Tokyo, just across from Hibiya Park and
the Imperial Palace, the hotel had to serve a unique role:
pleasing foreign visitors with the latest amenities while
upholding Japan's proud aesthetic tradition.
Although Wright's design was fairly classical, it included
controversial "floating foundations" to protect the structure
from Tokyo's frequent earthquakes. The H-shaped building
featured two three-story wings running the 500-foot length of
the site, with some 245 guestrooms opening onto interior
courtyards. The wings led to a seven-story building at the back,
containing a theater, cabaret and banquet rooms.
Creatively exhausted and emotionally restless, late in 1909 Wright
left his family for an extended stay in Europe with Mamah
During this European period Wright worked on two publications
of his work, published by Ernst Wasmuth, one of drawings known
as the Wasmuth Portfolio, Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe
von Frank Lloyd Wright, and one of photographs, Ausgeführte
Bauten, both released in 1911.
1. 1913 for an entertainment center called Midway Gardens in
2. 1916, for the new Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan.
In August 1914, Wright’s life with Mamah was tragically closed:
while Wright was in Chicago working on Midway Gardens, an
insane servant set fire to the living quarters of Taliesin, and
murdered Mamah Cheney, her two children, and four others.
Emotionally and spiritually devastated by the tragedy, Wright was
able to find solace only in work and he began to rebuild Taliesin in
The years between 1922 and 1934 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.
In 1928, Wright married Olga Lazovich (known as Olgivanna),
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.
With few architectural commissions coming his way, Wright
turned to writing and lecturing .Two important publications came
out in 1932: An Autobiography and The Disappearing City.
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.
An Autobiography and The
'Saguaro Forms and Cactus Flowers.'
Rug design, 1955.
Scherzo. Rug design, 1955.
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:
1. the S.C. Johnson and Son Company Administration Building in
2. Fallingwater, the country house for Edgar Kaufmann in rural
3. the Herbert Jacobs House (the first executed "Usonian" house)
in Madison, Wisconsin.
Here he and the Taliesin Fellowship began the construction of
Taliesin West as a winter camp, a bold new endeavor for desert
living where he tested design innovations, structural ideas, and
building details that responded to the dramatic desert setting.
Herbert Jacobs House
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:
1. the Research Tower for the SC Johnson Company,
2. a Unitarian meeting house in Madison,
3. a skyscraper in Oklahoma,
4. 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.
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.
Research Tower for the
SC Johnson Company
Unitarian meeting house
Chair from the Isobel Roberts
House, designed by Frank Lloyd