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Frank Lloyd Wright

United States (1867–1959)

Ask the average citizen to name a famous Amer­i­can archi­tect and their answer is likely to be Frank Lloyd Wright. Born in 1867 in Rich­land Center, Wiscon­sin in 1867, Wright gained such cultural primacy for good reason: he changed the way we build and live. Design­ing 1,114 archi­tec­tural works of all types — 532 of which were real­ized — he created some of the most inno­v­a­tive spaces in the United States. With a career that spanned seven decades before his death in 1959, Wright’s vision­ary work cemented his place as the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Archi­tects’ great­est Amer­i­can archi­tect of all time.”

At the age of twenty he ran away from home and trav­elled to Chicago in pursuit of archi­tec­ture, where he discov­ered the work of Adler and Sulli­van, applied for a job, and worked directly under Louis Sulli­van for nearly seven years. In 1893 he estab­lished his own prac­tice. His work in and around Chicago from 1893 to 1909 heralded a new concept in archi­tec­ture. The Larkin Build­ing” and Unity Temple” saw inno­va­tions in design and engi­neer­ing, made possi­ble by the tech­nol­ogy and mate­ri­als of the twentieth century.

By means of rein­forced concrete, glass, steel, sheet metal, and the cantilever, he devel­oped an archi­tec­ture in which the reality of the build­ing was the space within. This evasive element — almost mysti­cal by nature — of liber­ated inte­rior space, is the pervad­ing quality in every­thing he built. In 1932 Wright and his wife Olgi­vanna founded the Taliesin Fellow­ship, a school of archi­tec­ture at their own home.

Soon came the famous commis­sions for Falling­wa­ter and the Johnson Wax Admin­is­tra­tion Build­ing. As his work increased, so did the power of his creative genius. There seemed to be no end to the variety of forms, ideas, shapes, spaces, concepts, and inno­va­tions that poured forth from him. He left behind him a group of people dedi­cated to the concep­tion of organic archi­tec­ture: drawing upon the people of the Taliesin Fellow­ship, he estab­lished the Frank Lloyd Wright Foun­da­tion, which contin­ues to preserve and safe­guard the work, archives, and prin­ci­ples of this great Master.

Designs by Frank Lloyd Wright (1)