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Posts Tagged ‘Frank Lloyd Wright’

* Architecture: ‘The Artistic and the Beautiful’: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wide-Ranging Views (audio interview)

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Architecture: ‘The Artistic and the Beautiful’: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wide-Ranging Views (audio interview): “..In 1957, two years before his death, Frank Lloyd Wright sat down with WNYC (ndlr: radio) to discuss his design philosophy, exhibiting his trademark eloquence and blistering opinions. The year of this interview marks an explosion of commissions for Wright, who by then had been practicing architecture for 70 years..

Wright mainly designed homes until 1957-58, when he took on 90 new projects, many for public buildings. Over all, Wright’s last decade was his most prolific, accounting for nearly one-third of his oeuvre. This interview was recorded in his Plaza Hotel apartment where he’d moved two years earlier in order to oversee construction of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, on which he had been working for 14 years. Here, Wright neatly dismisses the project’s many critics, promising “…a new point of view…it’s going to be so enlivening and refreshing that it will make some of these painters quite ashamed of the protest that they issued against it.”

In this interview, Wright also expresses distaste for the nascent designs of Sydney Opera House, as well as the U.S. Air Force Academy structure, whose designers he lambasts as “Poetry Crushers with a capital P.” The Academy’s use of an advisory committee of architects prompts Wright to remark that “an architect is either an inspiration or…he’s merely a committee-mind…a liability.”

Asked whether he’s acquainted with New York’s planned Lincoln Center complex, Wright remarks, “I think it wouldn’t do me any good to become acquainted with it. I suggest the other way around: they become…acquainted with the ones that I’m doing.”

Two notable influences on the young Wright were his itinerant childhood (his father was a traveling minister), and years spent on his uncle’s Wisconsin farm where he “learned…the region in every line and feature…the modeling of the hills, the weaving and fabric that clings to them, the look of it all in tender green or covered with snow or in full glow of summer.” His mother, a school teacher, enhanced his understanding of structure by giving him a set of newly invented blocks developed by revolutionary German educator Friedrich Fröbel whose theories laid the foundations for modern education.

Beyond architecture, Wright is also noted as a singularly influential and innovative urban planner, interior designer, architectural writer, and educator. He is noted for his often prescient, sometimes embattled philosophical and social views, a range well displayed in this broadcast, when in the middle of describing his new designs for homes with children’s playrooms, he can’t help but point out that “the American family should be three, not four…and above that, heavily taxed, more and more as they increase in number.” (Wright fathered seven children.)..

Recognized by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time,” Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wis., and went on to design 1,141 structures — including houses, offices, churches, clinics, schools, libraries, bridges, and museums — 532 of which were built. Today, 409 are still standing, nearly one-third of them listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Wright died in 1959, six months before the Guggenheim opened.

Asked what architects could do to help build “a better society and civilization,” Wright slips into an uncharacteristically heartfelt tone, suggesting they “study nature, seriously, intelligently, and with feeling, and appreciation.” He also warns that if New York City doesn’t acquire more green space immediately, it will be “uninhabitable.”

At least four of Wright’s descendants became architects, one of whom, his son John Lloyd Wright, invented Lincoln Logs. Other descendants include an architecture professor, two interior designers, a master woodworker, and the actress Anne Baxter, who is Wright’s granddaughter..”  Fascinating…

image: © 2009 The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; article: Charis Conn, WNYC, NEH

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* Residential Architecture: Nexus House by Johnsen Schmaling Architects

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 16 September 2012

Residential Architecture: Nexus House by Johnsen Schmaling Architects: “..The Nexus House, a compact home for a young family of four, occupies a small site in University Heights, a historic residential district in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, with iconic homes by Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Keck & Keck, and many others.  Successfully contesting the local preservation ordinance whose strict guidelines advocated stylistic mimicry while failing to recognize the neighborhood’s rich architectural diversity, we designed a quiet but unapologetically contemporary building, its formally restrained volume discreetly placed in the back of the trapezoidal site, where it avoids direct visual competition with its two dignified neighbors, a hundred-year old Spanish Colonial home and the Ely House from 1896, a cherished landmark on the National Register of Historic Places..The house is composed of two principal building blocks: a two-story brick podium partially carved into the site’s existing slope; and a linear cedar-clad meander that wraps up and over the podium before transforming into a cantilever, its overhang providing shade for the south-facing main level patio.  Following this binary parti, the home’s “public” functions – garage, support rooms, and an open living hall – are located in the brick base, while its “private” spaces – upper level bedrooms, baths, and a small reading room – are housed in the cedar volume.  Exterior steps lead up the slope to the home’s front door, a glazed recess with a delicate steel canopy marking the vertical joint between the two distinct building blocks.  The glass entry door opens into a small vestibule that leads into the main living hall, an open space for cooking, eating, and sitting, where a series of floor-to-ceiling windows offer arriving guests expansive, carefully framed views into the neighborhood..The deliberately neutral interiors of the living hall are complemented by a troika of dark-stained wood objects that spatially anchor the open space:  a small entertainment center; a fireplace and chimney; and a wood wall and canopy cradling an intimate side lounge, which can be separated from the living hall with large pocket doors to serve as a guest bedroom or quiet study..”  Extensive glazing, natural light, interesting fenestration; interesting exterior materiality: dark brick and horizontal cedar cladding; cantilever..

See our post on another home by Johnsen Schmaling Architects: Residential Architecture: OS House by Johnsen Schmaling Architects.

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image: © John J. Macaulay; article: Cifuentes , Fabian . “Nexus House / Johnsen Schmaling Architects” 13 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. <http://www.archdaily.com/270621&gt;

Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture + Design, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Design, Designalog, Interiors, Residential Architecture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

* Residential Architecture: Video: Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 7 July 2012

Residential Architecture: Video: Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island: “..After WWII, the East End of Long Island played host to a variety of architectural styles.  From modernism, through post-modernism, and deconstructionism,  architects experimented with social ideas and aesthetic expressions which culminated in “small” houses scattered about the Island’s natural backdrop.  Now, with the advent of the mega-mansion and the desire for “bigger”, it is becoming increasingly difficult to preserve such iconic and progressive architectural projects..“When the talk turns to modern architecture on Long Island, the usual focus, not surprisingly, is on the last few years…..But, there was another modern architecture on Long Island, a whole generation of buildings that preceded the post-1960′s wave of arrogant, showy construction of our own time, and these buildings represented a very different set of values. They seem earnest where the recent modern buildings tend to feel jaded, eager where the newer ones tend to feel cynical,” explained Paul Goldberger for the New York Times in the late 80s..With his documentary Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island, director Jake Gorst seeks to highlight some of the region’s best work as a way to bring awareness and appreciation for such architectural achievement.    Interviews are conducted with architects, historians, and clients, and archival material plus current-day high-definition cinematography highlight Long Island’s often underappreciated modernist architectural treasures..“Long Island has a rich heritage of midcentury modern architecture,” says Director Jake Gorst. “Sadly, much of it has disappeared because of redevelopment and natural disaster. We believe the film will foster renewed awareness and appreciation for Long Island’s remaining modernist structures and its unique architectural history.”..The work of architects such as Albert Frey, Wallace Harrison, Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Breuer, Philip Johnson, Charles Gwathmey, Barbara and Julian Neski, among others, will be included in the film..”  Wonderful..

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image: Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island”, Jake Gorst; article: Cilento , Karen . “Video: Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island” 06 Jul 2012. ArchDaily. <http://www.archdaily.com/252354&gt;

Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture + Design, Contemporary Architecture, Design, Designalog, Mid-Century Design, Modernism, Residential Architecture, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Louis Sullivan – Great American Architect – Photos by Richard Nickel

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 27 March 2011

Martin Barbe House (1884)

Building for Richard Knisely (1883) photographed by Richard Nickel

image: Richard Nickel/Richard Nickel Committee/The Atlantic

Benjamin Schwarz has written a short, interesting article entitled “The Architect of the City” in The Atlantic looking at the life and work of “Louis Sullivan, the author of the modernist skyline” and, particularly, the catalogue raisonné of American architect Sullivan’s (and his partner, Dankmar Adler) work, entitled “The Complete Architecture of Adler & Sullivan”, by Richard Nickel and Aaron Siskind with John Vinci and Ward Miller, Richard Nickel Committee  (University of Chicago Press) which features innumerable, marvelous historic photographs (a great many wonderful, and powerful, photos by excellent architectural (and social!) photographer Richard Nickel), architectural plans, project descriptions, and essays.

It is also interesting to note that the great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was Sullivan’s protege and Chief Draftsman, prior to going on to establish his own remarkable reputation.

Excellent slideshow, here.

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Posted in Architects, Architecture, Articles, Books, Design, Designalog, Interiors, Links, Modernism, Photography, Slide Shows | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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