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Fran Lloyd Wright: Biography and Architecture Style

Info: 1874 words (7 pages) Essay
Published: 15th Mar 2021 in Architecture

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Fran Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), a great morden architect from the US. His design leads us to a new perspective of builind and living. He believes in sincere and simple design concept. The aspects of his design ideas are the organic buildings, prairie style and the incorpration of fuctional and form. The main fucouse of his design is always base on the natural ansd real that the building need to respect by the surrounding enviornment. Wright designed everything from private houses to commercial spaces, from architecture to furniture, and urban design as well. He had his own personal characteristic and expression that make his work a big difference from the mainstream of design at the time.

Herbert F. Johnson House, “Wingspread” (1937, Wisconsin)

Context:

The Wingspread house which was a commission of Herbert F. Johnson, the presidence of S.C. Johnson Et Son Company in 1937, when Wirght was underway of the construction to begin on the Fallingwater House. The house was completed in 1939, and it was built on a very opened prairie surround with woods and ravines at Wind Point. In the early 20th century, Wright’s works were mostly related to the nature by developing the relationship between human and nature, integrating the building and nature, also the use of natural materials. The Wingspread House, as Wright called it “ the last of Prairie houses”. Based on Prairie-style, in order to have a natural flow of the space, we often see large open plans for public areas, such as living room or dining room. Up to today, it is considered as one of the Wright’s most beautiful and expensive houses.

Concept:

A house in the open prairie, the design of the Wingspread House is about embrace nature. Just like the name of this house, an idea of windmill comes to the overall shape of the house. Indeed, the shape is also like something grows from the earth, and perfectly blends to the natural as well as the use of nature materials. Private spaces set to different wings that extended from the central of the building where is designed for the family activities. The mezzanine and changes of levels brings more sense of human scale of this large space. This irregular shape even though is not organic, but still bring a very unusual way of design residential house, which is like the natural will always over our imagination. In order to emphasize the interaction of each family number, the concept of this house is also allowed them to communicate in diffierent levels. Wright also considered a lot of the kids which to design the space both functional and playful.

Organization:

The overall floor space is 14,000 sq.ft. The center of the house where the entrance hall, family room, living room, music room, library and dining room are located. The master bedroom, children’s bedrooms, guests’ room and servants’ room are placed in four different wings where they all have their own private space. Instead of partition, a tall stone chimney is designed as a feature element from floor to ceiling with four fireplaces build at ground floor, and one on the mazzanine level. This also divides the main area into different function zones. Also, a spiral staircase is set in a playful way on side of the indoor chimney for kids to go up to the roof. A high dome ceiling with three rolls of sky light gives more natural lights and sense of spacious. The master bedroom wing is for Mr. and Mrs. Johnson and their daughter. It has three bedrooms and a sitting room. And each bedroom has a bathroom. This wing is at the mezzanine level, and the rest three wings are at the ground floor. The children’s wing has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, and it is connected to the outside terrace with a swimming pool, and a playroom as well. The kitchen is set on the servant wing, with three maids’ room, one shared bathroom and sitting room. Also the guest’s wing is connected to the access of a garage for five cars.

Details:

The use of natural material often sees in Wright’s project. The Wright House as well bring the brick work from the out side of the house to the interior to apply the 30 foots chimney, which also give a sense of masculine and power to emphasize as it is the feature of the main area. The oversize concrete squares for the flooring in the living room is about to keep the temperature at a comfort level by the radiant heating. Also, after the construction, Johnson Was designed specific product to give a low gloss finish for the flooring. The build-in wood furnitures bring a harmony of the space and also neutralize the roughness of the brick. Windows surround the most of the house, as well as the rows of skylight in the main area to give as much as the natural light. Wright said that, “ This house, while resembling the Coonley House, is much more blood, masculine and direct in form and treatment-excuted in more permanent materials. The house has a heavy footing course of Kasota sandstone, the best brickwork I have seen in my life- and the materials of construction throughout are everywhere substantial...”

https://franklloydwright.org/site/wingspread/

https://www.archdaily.com/115102/ad-classics-wingspread-frank-lloyd-wright

https://www.scjohnson.com/en/a-family-company/architecture-and-tours/frank-lloyd-wright/wingspread-frank-lloyd-wrights-largest-prairie-style-house-was-home-to-the-johnsons

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1943, New York)

Context:

In 1943, Wright got a commission from Baroness Hilla von Rebay to build a new museum to collect Solomon R. Guggenheim’s non-objective painting. Guggenheim required designing the museum that is unlike any other. The museum is one of Wright’s famous projects, and also known as his longest project that took about 16 years until opened to the public in 1959, six month after he passed away. During the long process of this project, Wright had many chanllenges of design the museum, in terms of the WWII, economic crisis in the late 40s, and building code requirements. It is located at the Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and next to the east face of the famous Central Park where is also the downtown area of New York City. Even Wrights had to modify and redesign many versions of this museum within the 16 years, but the final result is still something marvelous. His design language brings out the simplicity and naturality. Wright always tries to design things unusual, so the Guggenheim Museum is also become to an impressive mark in Manhattan. 

Concept:

“I am so full of ideas for our museum that I am likely to blow up or commit suicide unless I can let them out on paper.” Wright wrote to Rebay shows that he has all his passion and ambitious about the museum project in 1943. He provided six complete perspective drawing that implied architectural, structural, electrical and mechanical. Wright defined that, “ A museum should be one extended expansive well proportioned floor space from bottom to top – a wheel chair going around and up and down, throughout.” This idea also shows that he is not only design an object itself, but also considering with a humanist approach and then bring it to the design. The shape of the building is described as an "inverted ziggurat". The exterior concrete bands grow slightly larger at each higher level that gives a feeling of powerful. As well as the interoir space offsets the curved wall from exterior and continued ramp from the first floor to the top to feel natural and smooth. The ramp gives visitors freedom to walk around the whole building without any staircases. It stands in a high contrast to the surrounding traditional building. The organic shapes and the sense of simplicity make it like a natural product. The building itself is actually like an artwork, a sculpture than leading people want to go inside and explore. Although, there are still some different opinions concern about overpower design of the building that may compete for attention to the exhibit.

Organization:

The interior of this museum is very expressive with a central well from the first floor to the sixth level that provide a large open hollow design with a 97 feet glass dome for skylight. The entrance is located in the ground floor with the vestibule and waiting room. In the basement, it provides the lecture room with a mezzanine below the central court. The main gallery stars from the first floor where is above the ground floor, and there is also a library. To go to the upper level, the ramp continues up to the sixth floor that the rotation ends without a full revolution. There are toilets and elevator on each level, also a triangular stairwell on the side as an emergency exit. Offices and workrooms are on the second floor. At the top floor, it has an outdoor balcony, and also the director’s office.

Details:

Frank Loyd Wright’s design concept of organic architecture also applies to some details. The glass dome is designed in to different geometric shapes, which are triangles, ovals, arches, circles and squares. The skylights not only appear from the top ceiling. From the exterior view, concrete bands seem like floating on top of each other, and they actually have skylights along the circle on every top of each level. In this case, we can see how Wright tried to repect the use of natural lights. Indeed, the triangle recessed lights and staircases are also nutrualise the overall organic shape. A feature pond built at the ground floor that can be noticed from every level above. However, the curved interior wall is controversial from some artists who complained about the placement of their painting. But this does not sinfluence the love and praise of the visitors for it. To compare with the expansive main gallary, the entrance is relative low, small and conceal. That gives visitor a contrast leading suddenly into an open space.

Every period of his time, from naturalism, organicim, prairie style to mordenism, he had also caused new influences and impacets on the world’s architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright provided an exploration and important referencefor the future design.

 

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