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* 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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Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture + Design, Art, Articles, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Cultural Architecture, Design, Design & Decoration, Designalog, Educational Architecture, Exhibitions, Galleries, green, Green Design, Humanitarian Design, Infrastructure Architecture, Institutional Architecture, Interiors, Interviews, Mid-Century Design, Modernism, Museums, Public Architecture, Public Facilities, Public Parks, Residential Architecture, Urban Design | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

* Architecture: Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland by Farshid Moussavi

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 11 October 2012

Architecture: Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland by Farshid Moussavi: “..This six-sided building covered in mirrors is the new home for the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland in Ohio, USA by London-based architect Farshid Moussavi..The four-storey building, which opened this weekend, features faceted walls clad in mirrored black stainless steel and replaces the museum’s former address in the loft of an old playhouse complex..Visitors to the museum arrive inside a full-height atrium, where the structure of the walls is left exposed and the surfaces have been painted bright blue..White staircases lead up to galleries on each of the floors, including a large top floor exhibition space where the ceiling is coloured with the same blue paint as the walls to offer an alternative to the standard ‘white-cube’ gallery..Located at the intersection of two major avenues, the museum faces onto a new public square by landscape architects James Corner Field Operations and has entrances on four of its elevations for flexibility between different exhibitions and events..As the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland is a non-collecting museum, it places extra emphasis on public programmes and events, which will take place inside a double-height multi-purpose space on the building’s ground floor..Farshid Moussavi Architecture completed the project in collaboration with architects Westlake Reed Leskosky, who are based in Cleveland..Farshid Moussavi launched her studio just over a year ago..” (slideshow included in article..)..

See our other posts on work by James Corner Field Operations:

image: Dean Kaufman; article: Dezeen

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* Architecture: Samaranch Memorial Museum by HAO and Archiland Beijing

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Architecture: Samaranch Memorial Museum by HAO and Archiland Beijing: “..Construction is underway on a Olympic-themed museum in Tianjin, China, comprising five connected rings..Designed by Dutch architects HAO and Beijing studio Archiland, the museum will commemorate the legacy of Juan Antonio Samaranch, who was president of the International Olympic Committee from 1980 to 2001 and an influential promoter of the games..Exhibitions dedicated to Samaranch’s work will be housed in a figure of eight-shaped building that will loop around an entrance courtyard and garden in the two largest rings of the complex..The three smaller circles will contain sunken courtyards, providing spaces for temporary exhibitions, administration and research..The Samaranch Memorial Museum is due to complete in 2013..”

image: Courtesy of HAO and Archiland Beijing; article: Dezeen

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Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture & Design in China, Architecture + Design, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Cultural Architecture, Design, Designalog, Galleries, Landscape Architecture, Museums | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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