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Frank Lloyd Wright. having a good start not only do I fully intend to be the greatest architect who has yet lived, but fully intend to be the greatest architect who will ever live. Yes, I intend to be the greatest architect of all time. Frank Lloyd Wright 1867 - 1959 CHILDHOOD Born in Richland Center, in southwestern Wisconsin, on June 8, 1867 (sometimes reported as 1869), Frank Lincoln Wright, who changed his own middle name to Lloyd, was raised under the influence of a Welsh heritage. The Lloyd-Jones family, his mothers side of the family, had a great influence on Wright throughout his life. The family was Unitarian in faith and lived close to each other.
Major emphasis within the Lloyd-Jones family included education, religion, and nature. Wrights family spent many evenings listening to William Lincoln Wright read the works of Emerson, Thoreau, and Blake. His aunts Nell and Jane opened a school of their own, pressing the philosophies of the German educator, Froebel. Wright was brought up in a comfortable, but certainly not warm household. His father, William Carey Wright, who worked as a preacher and a musician, moved from job to another, dragging his family across the United States. Possibly as a result of this upheaval, Wrights parents divorced when while he was still young.
His mother, Anna, relied heavily upon her many brothers, sisters and uncles, and Wright was intellectually guided by his aunts and his mother. Before Wright was even born, his mother had decided that her son was gong to be a great architect. Using Froebels geometric blocks to entertain and educate her son, Mrs. Wright must have struck the genius that her son possessed. Use of imagination was encouraged and Wright was given free run of the playroom filled with paste, paper, and cardboard. On the door were the words, SANCTUM SANCTORUM (Latin for place of inviolable privacy).
Wright was seen as a dreamy and sensitive child, and cases of him running away while working on the farmlands with his uncles were noted. This pattern of running away from one thing or another continued throughout his lifetime. WRIGHTS FIRST BREAK In 1887, at the age of twenty, Frank Lloyd Wright moved to Chicago. During the late nineteenth century, Chicago was a booming, crazy place.
With an education in engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Wright found a job as a draftsman in a Chicago architectural firm. During this short time with the firm of J. Lyman Silsbee, Wright started on his first project, the Hillside Home for his aunts, Nell and Jane. Impatiently moving forward, Wright got a job at one of the best known firms in Chicago at the time, Adler and Sullivan. Sullivan was to become Wrights greatest mentor. LOUIS SULLIVAN: LIEBER MEISTER Wright referred to Sullivan as Lieber Meister (beloved master).
He admired his talent for ornamentation, and his skill of drawing intricate plans and designs. Wright picked up on the ways of Sullivan and soon became ahead of Alder in importance within the firm. Wrights relationship between him and his employer caused great amounts of tension between Wright and his fellow draftsmen, as well as with Sullivan and Adler. Wright was assigned the residential contracts of the firm. His work soon expanded as he accepted jobs outside of the firm. When Sullivan found out about this in 1893, he called Wright on a breach of contract.
Rather than to drop the night jobs, Wright walked out on the firm. When Wright left the company, Sullivan's quantity of contracts declined quickly. Sullivan soon ran into economic troubles and his international reputation dwindled by 1920. Sullivan was soon regarded as worthless to the architectural world. He resorted to alcoholism and died in 1924 without regaining the glory of what was held in his early years in Chicago. LIFE AFTER THE FIRM Wright quickly built up a practice in residential architecture.
At one point in his career, Wright would produce 135 buildings in ten years. Wright took a different approach to architecture by designing the furniture, light fixtures, and other things that were in the structures that he made. He developed a unique type of architecture that was known as the Prairie style. Dominated by the horizontal line, the style would make-up the type of buildings designed in the 1900 - 1913 era of his career. Wright had two other distinctive styles and a period for each one of them, one being the Textile block (1917 - 1924) and the other the Usonian (1936 - 1959), which is the most familiar to modern world. In 1909 Wright took off for Europe, once again leaving a stable life, with six children, a wife and a well established business.
He traveled to Europe to seek greater fame and recognition. Wright did not stay long in Europe. He left in 1910 and returned to Chicago and Wisconsin to start construction of his second home, Taliesin in 1911. In the year 1913 he got a contract for Midway Gardens in downtown Chicago, which today exists only in drawings. In 1914, disaster struck Wrights life when his mistress, two children and four of Wrights leading workmen were murdered by a crazed servant. Taliesin was also burned to the ground.
He would rebuild in the desert southwest. Wright soon left to Japan. WRIGHTS ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN LIFE By the time Frank Lloyd Wright died in 1959, he had produced architecture for more than seventy years. Wright had changed many styles and set new standards. His organic approach still influences many drafters of today. In the design of the house, he would use natural materials to blend the house into the setting.
He manipulated stone, brick, glass, wood, stucco, concrete, and copper in ways that had never been done before. There are many amazing buildings designed by Wright. The amount seems almost uncountable. The Robie house is considered to be a masterpiece of Wrights career.
Made of a many different materials, the house was intended by Wright to have a homey feeling, a feeling of unity. The light fixtures and other items were built into the house to keep the unity effect alive. The house was designed and built between 1906 and 1910, and is located in Chicago. The building was commissioned by Frederick C.
Robie, a 30 year old engineer at the time he approached Wright. The house, in my opinion shows the exact definition of the Prairie style. The way that its built on a narrow city lot and the way its horizontal lines appear, show the short, flat look of that style. The Imperial Hotel in Tokyo provided Wright with an architectural as well as engineering challenge. The hotel was finished in 1922 and was criticized for its aesthetic design, but when it survived the 1923 earthquake that left Tokyo in shambles, it was praised. Wright designed a floating foundation for the building.
I believe that Wright had designed the hotel perfectly for the Japanese. The simpleness and horizontal line of his Prairie style, fit in the culture perfectly. Wrights trait of using natural material was, and still is, common to the Japanese culture. Fallingwater was another one of Wrights masterpieces. It also sought to embody the exact definition of organic architecture. Wright utilized mostly concrete and stone to create his masterpiece.
The concrete gives this house a smooth look and allowed Wright the ability to cantilever a portion of the house, making it appear as if it were a stone ledge reaching over the brook the house sets next to. The different layers make the building look like a cascading waterfall. Wright built the house around existing trees, following his practice of disturbing nature as little as possible during construction. The chimney is made around an existing boulder that the owner used to sit on as a child. Fallingwater is one, if not the best, of Wrights houses. The rooms and ledges are all dramatically different from the traditional boxy houses of Wrights time period.
The Guggenheim Museum has been considered Wrights last great feat. Sadly, but true, Wright passed away shortly before the museum was publicly opened. It has a unique spiral / snail shell design that seems to grow out of the ground in the heart of New York City. The huge skylight provides light for the entire museum.
The design allows people to see the art in a continuous manner. Visitors are intended to take an elevator to the top and walk all the way down, viewing all the exhibits as they descend. Today, after an exhaustive competition, a second building is attached to the museum, providing even more display space. The winning design is a simple, thin tower that is designed not to distract from the beautiful spiral. In true Wright fashion, the architect stated that he did not want to disturb nature, giving the museum its own place in the environment.
Wright never retired; he died on April 9, 1959 at the age of ninety-two in Arizona. He was interred at the graveyard at Unity Chapel (which was considered to be his first building) at Taliesin in Wisconsin. In 1985, Olgivanna Wright passed away and one of her wishes was to have Frank Lloyd Wrights remains cremated and the ashes put next to hers at Taliesin West. After much controversy, this was done. The epitaph at his Wisconsin grave site reads: Love of an idea is the love of God.
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