Posted by the editors on Sunday, 3 March 2013
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 by the editors on Saturday, 7 July 2012
Residential Architecture: House in Leiden by SAMF: “..integrated into a large 17th century stable whose use has been altered to accommodate six different houses. In this long process of residential occupation, internally, the original clarity and direct quality of the construction had been lost. The renovation essentially sought to clear the space, which was excessively partitioned, so as to regain a unified vision of the house and rediscover its character and spatial qualities..In the ground floor, the kitchen and living space form a large open space, concentrating the functional areas and places to stay along the perimeter. The walls are thus given a new thickness with built-in cabinets for the kitchen, a secret storage space under the staircase and a stove to gather around..Above the bedrooms in the first floor is the attic which is the most surprising element of the house. It is reached by a cramped spiral staircase, and before you access the main space, you enter a small, confined, wood covered box. This is the technical area of the house, with the heating system, washing machines and a working table. By contrast, the living area is open and white, except for the old roof beams, dark and rough. Again, all the storage space was placed along the edges, close to the floor, under the horizontal beams. Over the entrance box is a gable-shaped space that can be used as a bedroom, which is accessed by vertical ladder..Because the roof structure was built for a single building, which has been sliced into six, at first it is hard to understand the logic of its construction, especially in this case where the roof occupies one corner of the original rectangle. But part of its interest lies precisely in trying to reconfigure in our head, from the intricate three-dimensional structure of struts and beams that we perceive, the overall design..” Very nice contemporary interior renovation / refurbishment of an existing 17th century stable, maintaining original rough timber beams..
See our posts on two other homes by SAMF:
image: © Joao Morgado; article: “House in Leiden / SAMF” 29 Sep 2010. ArchDaily.<http://www.archdaily.com/79520>
Posted in Architects, Architecture, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Design, Designalog, Interiors, Residential Architecture | Tagged: archdaily, Architects, Architecture, Architecture & Design, Brick, Conde House by SAMF Arquitectos, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Design, Designalog, Europe, GA House by Samf, Homes, House in Leiden, House in Leiden by SAMF, Houses, interiors, joão morgado, Leiden, Netherlands, Refurbishment, Renovations, Residential Architecture, Samf, Timber, Timber Beams, wood | Leave a Comment »
Posted by the editors on Saturday, 7 July 2012
Residential Architecture: DJ House by [i]da arquitectos: “..A central patio divides the house into two parts and organizes the interior spaces: on the west side, an open horizontal space to the garden receives the dining room and the kitchen; on the east side, a vertical space, located at a lower level in relation to the public route to ensure domestic privacy, receives the living room. Large apertures establish the contact between interior and exterior. In the horizontal space the relationship is made by the continuity with the garden while in the vertical space is the blue sky that dominates the entire landscape..The private areas, one suite and two bedrooms, are located in the upper level as well as the access to the roof terrace..The simplicity of the facades contrasts with the complexity of the different spaces of the house..The white wall surfaces and the gray shades of the floors give a unit character to the entire construction..” Simple form with interesting interior volumes, extensive glazing, natural light, roof terrace, central courtyard, cantilevered staircase..
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image: © Joao Morgado; article: “DJ House / [i]da arquitectos” 06 Jul 2012. ArchDaily. <http://www.archdaily.com/251995>
Posted in Architects, Architecture, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Design, Designalog, Interiors, Residential Architecture | Tagged: archdaily, Architects, Architecture, Architecture & Design, Cantilevered Staircases, Central Courtyards, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Design, Designalog, DJ House, DJ House by [i]da arquitectos, Europe, glass, Homes, Houses, interiors, joão morgado, Portugal, Residential Architecture, Roof Terraces, [i]da arquitectos | Leave a Comment »