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 Born June 8, 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin  Ancestors moved to America in 1844  Were very righteous and their motto was “Truth against the World.”

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Presentation on theme: " Born June 8, 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin  Ancestors moved to America in 1844  Were very righteous and their motto was “Truth against the World.”"— Presentation transcript:

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2  Born June 8, 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin  Ancestors moved to America in 1844  Were very righteous and their motto was “Truth against the World.”  Welsh branch of the Unitarian faith. “The idea of unity, ‘the UNITY of all things!”  Moved five times over ten years  Helped FLW learn to make friends easily and engage in new places.  Mother, Anna, was predetermining his life by hanging pictures of architecture in his rooms.  Froebel Schooling  Emphasizes learning from nature, and learning by doing.  Helps FLW to distinguish geometric shapes that hide beneath external appearances giving structure to every natural and manmade thing, and “to see each thing in its organic unity.”  FLW’s respect for nature and the ideal of unity were reinforced through this training.  “..it is in drawing that the child pre-eminently shows himself to be creative.”

3  Chicago 1887  Moved to Chicago and worked for Silsbee.  Worked for Adler & Sullivan  Oak Park, Illinois, upper class Chicago  Opens own practice in 1893  Prairie Style 1899 – 1909  In the Cause of Architecture 1908  The program for Prairie Style Houses between 1893 and 1910  Six principles in Prairie Style Homes, which is based on nature and Japanese art  Europe 1909

4  FLW fundamental principles and beliefs formed by the Transcendental thinkers.  Transcendentalism is best represented by the writings of Emerson.  Transcendentalist thinking was also influenced by Whitman and Greenough.  “Transcendentalists held that each physical thing was the consequence of, and had consequences for, spiritual thought, and that the forms we made were a direct effect of our characters.”  “…because human being were a product of nature, they were eminently suited to intuit the principles of nature.”  “All form had moral meaning, and nature was the model”  Tried to achieve a harmony with nature after the industrial revolution.

5  Transcendentalist were united through their early religious thoughts of Unitarianism – “…the ideal of unity, the unity of all things understood to be the beginning and the end of all humankind’s efforts to achieve truth.”  An exploration of non-western philosophies, such as the traditions of Oriental spirituality.  Belief and judgments were founded upon each individual’s ethical intuition.  “Wright was far more interested in designing the world than in representing it – designing here understood as discerning the underlying structure of nature and working with it.”  Froebel Schooling reiterated these teachings.

6  Silsbee 1887  “Silsbee influenced by the wood shingle-clad houses of Henry Hobson Richardson, considered the father of American architecture by his contemporaries.”  Cecil Corwin through Silsbee would teach FLW a lot about the house and the needs of a home.  Adler & Sullivan 1888  Transcendentalist like FLW  “…learn principles, not copy shapes.”  “…begin from the heart as the nucleus, and work outwards.” Form follows function.  Against classical forms and ornamentation that was exhausted in the Western world  Learned acoustics and structures from Adler.  Art of nurture – “a process of design where the architect seeks a fit between function and form, fitting the spatial geometry to the pattern of human activity, and where the nature of the materials with which the design is made has a significant effect on the design..

7  Japanese Art (Phoenix Hall of the Exposition of 1893)  Based on the Ho-o-den.  Would transform many aspects of it like the cruciform plan, horizontal proportions, screen-like walls, lack of rigid interior room divisions, cantilevered roofs that gave shade, and the tokonoma at the center.  Tokonoma served as an inspiration of FLW to “…treat the dwelling as a form of temple to tradition family life – based around the ‘alter’ or central communal hearth.”

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9  Moonlight house designs  Charnley family vacation cottage.  Sullivan vacation cottage  Sullivan’s mother’s house  Bootleg house designs  1887 School house for aunts Jane and Nell  Shingle-clad, house-like structure. Influenced by Silsbee.  Dr. Allison Harlan House  George Blossom House  Warren MacArthur House  Robert Emmond House  1891 James Charnley House  “…first sensed the definitely decorative value of the plain surface…the flat plane.”  Inspired by John Root

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11  1893 FLW opens own practice  1894 Monolithic Concrete Bank  Related to the forms of the Egyptian Temples.  Exposed concrete, radical for this time.  Fusion of its form, structure and material, is opposite of the steel-frame office building.  1895 Luxfer Prism Company Building  Used specially formed glass blocks that bounced the light inward.  Used the oldest forms of geometries. Learned from Froebel training, The Grammar of Ornament, and work with Sullivan.  Bring these geometries the rest of his life.

12  1895 Francisco Terrace Apartments  Spacious interior court with corner stairs  Open-air balcony walkway. Early example of “street in the air” employed in Europe 25 years later.  1896 Isidore Heller House  Living and dining room are each cruciform in plan.  Narrow, deep lot.  1899 Joseph Husser House  Rooms aligned along a central axis.  1893 – 1899  12 single family houses  6 apartment building  1 public project  23 unbuilt projects

13  1894 and 1896 public lectures  Would teach the latest thinking of the house.  “…concepts of integrating with the natural site; simpler roof-forms; introduction of sunlight to the interior; being smaller and simpler in organization; containing as few rooms as possible – eliminating the parlor and collecting all family activities, including dining and entertainment for guests, into one large living room; using built-in and machine-made furniture; integrating services within the fabric of the house, such as building in heating radiators under window; employment of newly available, ‘truly modern’ and ‘matchless’ plumbing fixtures’ and efficient, well-organized kitchens – which Wright employed the nomenclature of the housing reformers, as well as his own ideal of an indigenous architecture that achieves both utility and beauty.”  In the 1894 lecture FLW states, “there should be as many types of homes as there are types of people, for it is the individuality of the occupants that should give character and color to the building.”  These houses and ideas would develop and influence FLW’s later designs creating his own concepts and principles in the Prairie Style.

14  Heller House  Husser House

15  Two buildings published for The Ladies’ Home Journal commissioned in  A Home in a Prairie Town  “arranged to offer the least resistance to a simple mode of living, in keeping with a high ideal of the family life together.”  Horizontal exterior with deep roof overhangs “recognizes the influence of the prairie.”  First appearance of an American Suburb  Cruciform plan: Center space the most important, spaces become one.  Hickox House  Price $6,970 ( 166,124.27)  A Small House With Lots of Room in It  Clients wanted houses smaller and less expensive, but with lots of space and good features  Pinwheel plan  Bradley House  Price $5,835 ( 142,759.22)  Both developed from the cruciform plan which would be brought into every Prairie Style for this period.  Allows for light, air, and views to enter the home  Projecting and pin wheeling spaces that revolves around a central fireplace.

16  A Home in a Prairie Town  Cruciform Design  Hickox House

17  A Small House With Lots of Room in It  Pinwheel Design  Bradley House

18  Pinwheel and Cruciform evolution

19  At this point FLW developed his own designs, principles, and themes for these homes.  “In a fine art sense these designs have grown as natural plants grow, the individuality of each is integral and as complete as skill, time, strength and circumstances would permit.”  “Nature’s wealth of artistic suggestion, ensuring him a guiding principle within which he can never be wholly false, out of tune, or lacking in rational motif.  “This connection to nature, the positive reason families were moving to the suburbs, remained for Wright the primary inspiration for his Prairie Houses.”  “…were characterized by exceptional spatial freedom, rigorous formal order, and a combination of usefulness and comfort heretofore unknown in either the Old or New World.”

20  1900 Concerning Landscape Architecture lecture  Honor each plant and tree.  “Landscape architecture were equally important in creating a community, and that the natural environment was more influential on our character than the cultivated conduct of good society – though indeed he two are not that widely separated. You will find the environment reflecting unerringly the society.”  Weave together exterior and interior spaces.  The community should be built through the house. The rest will follow.  The landscape and the home shall be one.  Either one cannot appear complete without the other with this interdependence.  Prairie House projects during this period  65 Built  65 Unbuilt

21  Prairie Style

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23  The Art and Craft of the Machine 1901  Based on Morris and Ruskin’s ideas  Criticized and exulted the British Arts and Craft Movement.  Machines were an absolute necessity in modern art and architecture.  Architecture is a kind of weaving, reconceived in modern terms.  “…the straight-line rectangular cuts of sawmill machines will provide the wood trim of the modern age, free of any decorative pattern except for the natural grain of the wood itself.”  FLW engaged the machine and nature as paradigms for architectural design in the modern age.  Nature of the material is revealed in the machines work.  “The machine is here to stay. It is the forerunner of the democracy that is our dearest hope.”  “The machine is the normal tool of our civilization, give it work that it can do well – nothing is of greater importance.”  “There is no more important work before the architect now that to use this normal tool of civilization to the best advantage instead of prostituting it as he has hitherto done in reproducing with murderous ubiquity forms born of other times and other conditions and which it can only serve to destroy.”

24  In the Cause of Architecture (1908)  Program containing six principles based on nature and Japanese art.  1. Simplicity an Repose  A building should contain the fewest rooms possible for living conditions.  Comfort and utility should go hand and hand with the beauty  Only three rooms on the ground floor: living, dining, and kitchen  Openings should occur as integral features of the structure and form.  Decoration is dangerous. Just because it looks good does not mean you should use it.  Appliances and fixtures should be integrated into the design.  Pictures should be decorative not unnecessary  The furniture should be built in so that it is part of the overall scheme.  2. “There should be as many kinds (styles) of houses as there are kinds (styles) of people and as many differentiations as there are different individuals.”

25  3. “A building should appear to grow easily from its site and be shaped to harmonize with its surroundings.”  4. Colors should come from nature.  5. “Bring out the nature of the materials.”  Reveal the nature of the wood, plaster, brick, or stone.  They are all by nature, friendly and beautiful.  6. “Buildings like people must first be sincere, must be true and then withal as gracious and lovable as may be.”  A house that has good character will grow more valuable as times change.

26  1902 Willits House  First true Prairie Style House.  Pinwheel plan with cruciform structure.  Form of house comes from the “primary, central, comparatively solid, vertical volume of the living room.”

27  1902 Dana House  Open rooms with movement occurring through them.  Encourages shared experiences and social encounters

28  1902 Hillside Home School for aunts Ellen and Jane  Same cruciform plan and the homes.  Primary space of the school is the meeting room, two story in space and having a mezzanine balcony.

29  1903 Martin House  High point in the Prairie Style  Five separate structures linked by interlocking gardens.  Series of cruciform pavilions creates a matrix of places in the landscape.

30  1902 Larkin Building  Created a humane workplace and environment.  Organized around a central courtyard illuminated with skylights.  Higher windows create views of the sky and not the industrial surroundings  First air-conditioning in the U.S.  Services and stairs located on the outer corners of the building opening up the interior.  First built in filing cabinets.  First wall-hung toilets and partitions.  Cantilevered desk chairs for quicker cleaning.  The company officers on the ground floor while the workers were located above them, creating them as equals.  Music played during the day from an organ and Emerson was read during the workers breaks.

31  Larkin Building 1902

32  1905 Unity Temple  New expression for liberal religious space.  Engaged FLW’s deep understanding of Unitarianism.  Complete integration of material and space, and unity of place and experience.  First exposed, reinforced cast concrete public building in America.  Top-lit central sanctuary with 25 amber colored skylights.  A square integrated with a cruciform so it forms balconies at the edges.  Central room supported by four massive square piers. These carry structural loads and heated air.  Four stairways are located on the outer corners.  Intimate and monumental.

33  Unity Temple

34  1908 Robie House  Single large space separated by the fireplace.  Daring overhangs  Full length glass doors running the whole length of the open space on the south side.  June 21, the longest day of the year, the overhangs were designed so the sun touches the bottom of the edge of the glass doors. On December 21, the shortest day of the year, the sun enters throughout the whole dining and living spaces heating the floor.

35  Robie House

36  QUESTIONS?

37  Birk, Melanie. Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie. New York: Universe Publishing,  City of Springfield. Historic Sites Commission of Springfield, Illinios. 25 February  Heinz, Thomas A. The Vision of Frank Lloyd Wright. Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books,  Hoffmann, Donald. Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture and Nature. Toronto: Constable and Company, Ltd,  Kruft, Hanno-Walter. A History of Architectural Theory From Vitruvius to the Present. New York: Princeton Architectural Press,  McCarter, Robert. Frank Lloyd Wright. London: Reaktion Books Ltd,  —. On and By Frank Lloyd Wright: A Primer of Architectural Principles. London: Phaidon Press Limited,  Online Photograph Boston College. Hillside Home School. 25 February  Online Photograph DK Images. Charnley House. 23 February  Online Photograph Encyclopaedia Britannica Junior. Phoenix Hall. 23 February  Online Photograph Exploring Art. Martin House. 25 February  Online Photograph Grand Island Historical Society. Darwin Martin House. 25 February  Online Photograph Prairie Styles. Charnley House. 23 February  —. Willits House. 25 February  Online Photograph PrairieMod. Monolithic Concrete Bank. 23 February  Online Photograph Walt Lockley. Larking Building. 25 February  Online Photograph Wikipedia. Dana-Thomas House. 25 February  Williamson, Samuel H. Five Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, February  Wright, Frank Lloyd. "In the Cause of Architecture." Architectural Record (1975): 


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