Frank Lloyd Wright and His Impact Frank Lloyd Wright was a very influential designer and architect who inspired the next century of builders to go beyond their normal standards and break free from the confines of the current building barriers. He used aspects of nature to compliment his buildings, and knew how to perfectly arrange the complex angles and structures to set his projects apart from all others. Frank Lloyd Wright changed the future of architecture with his high attention to interior design, detail, simplicity, and environmental influences.
Frank’s upbringing seems to have impacted his choices and views in life. Wright’s father was a Baptist minister and a musician, possibly where Wright may have received some of his creativity. His mother was a school teacher, and she introduced Wright to the Froebel Kindergarten Method, which familiarized children to solely geometric forms and certain patterns on grids. Many say that this was a major part to Wright’s advanced geometric procedures and focus on design and function (“Wright, Frank Lloyd – Overview”).
Frank Lloyd Wright held many jobs that added to his architect career early in his life. The first main influence was his part-time employment with a Madison, Wisconsin contractor, working as a draftsman’s apprentice for Joseph Silsbee. Wright also worked with Dankmar Alder and Louis Sullivan. Wright developed a close relationship with Louis Sullivan, who had a “form follows function” philosophy, just like Wright did later in life. JRank Encyclopedia says, “By the time Wright was in his early 20s, he had worked on some of the most impressive buildings in Chicago. This quote puts in perspective just how much experience Wright received from his collaborations with Adler and Sullivan (“Wright, Frank Lloyd – Overview”). Wright said himself, describing his work as “organic architecture; that which proceeds, persists, and creates, according to the nature of man and his circumstances as they both change. ” This quote shows what Wright wanted his buildings to convey; a view of the natural world through the works of beautiful architecture.
The homes Wright created in his earlier years held strong horizontal lines and shapes and roofs that were low pitched and had large overhangs. The interiors of many of his houses were influenced by Japanese designs; they had large open spaces, few closed corners, and large windows to allow for the flow of natural light and to not hide the beauty of nature. The homes were heated by coils built into the slabs of concrete that circulated warm water, heating the house evenly, known as radiant heat.
Wright developed a new type of building material, using pre-cast concrete blocks that were reinforced with metal. Several of his houses were built with his new method. Frank Lloyd Wright pushed the standards, creating a new era of architecture that he was paving as he worked (“Wright, Frank Lloyd – Overview”). Although Frank Lloyd Wright receives so much praise nowadays, during his life time and especially his earlier years, he was not as glorified. Only about 10% of his over 470 buildings and more than 1200 designs received public commissions (McCarter).
Having 4 wives and leaving his first family, Wright wasn’t seen as the most likable person, but his designs were irresistible (“Wright, Frank Lloyd – Overview”). He has set a standard that has not yet been matched; those during his time had not realized his creativity. As Wright continued in his career, people began to notice his uniqueness and “powers”. Frank Lloyd Wright did not receive the full recognition he deserved during his lifetime. Many people can now agree that Frank Lloyd Wright is the single most influential architect and builder to have lived in the recent centuries.
When asked about memorable architects, virtually every first-year college student entering American universities could name Frank Lloyd Wright (McCarter). A quote from the Taliesin Architects website truly shows the impact Wright had: “The greatest artist this country has ever produced seems at last to be coming into his own. America’s other great artists–our painters, sculptors, composers – don’t really rank with the tops of all time. They’re not Rembrandt or Michelangelo or Beethoven. Wright alone has that standing. ” (“Frank Lloyd Wright”).
Wright has many extremely recognizable buildings located in many areas around the world, such as the Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois; the Midway Gardens in Chicago; the Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania; the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan; the Beth Shalom Synagogue in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; and the Guggenheim Museum in New York (McCarter). It’s easy to tell that Wright has been seriously noticed and is overly well known. But, one may ask, what kind of major impacts has Frank Lloyd Wright had on the world? Well, homes with a living room, open garage, or a floor plan with many open spaces have all been majorly influenced by Mr.
Wright. Frank himself pioneered all of these designs. His low and sweeping rooflines, many windows, and central fireplaces changed how houses would be built for centuries to come (“Frank Lloyd Wright”). In 1952, Wright completed a home for a World War II veteran that is completely accessible for a person confined to a wheelchair, such as the owner Kenneth Laurent. The house is built on completely one level, with curving walls, added space for turning radii, and lowered light switches and heighted electric plugs; giving the perfect example for just how much Wright could bend to certain needs all while maintaining his personal designs.
Mr. Laurent described Wright in an interview pacing up and down the room as he listened to the requirements for the proposed home. Mr. Laurent said, “Mr. Wright seemed to be designing the home in his mind right then and there. ” (Menendez). Being able to complete complex projects such as this home shows how talented and unique Frank Lloyd Wright was. Frank Lloyd Wright’s advanced designs and forward thinking easily makes him without a doubt one of the greatest architects to have lived in the United States.
He changed the future of architecture; inventing new ways to have homes run in a more beautiful and efficient way. His complex but simple interior design elements make his homes and buildings a stable to modern American architecture. His respect to the beauty of nature brings the simplistic gloriousness of the outdoors to reside in the structure and designs of his homes. Frank Lloyd Wright made his name known and marked the history of the United States and the world for many, many years to come. Bibliography “Frank Lloyd Wright. ” Building The Windy City.
Web. 24 Mar. 2011. ;http://library. thinkquest. org/J002846/a_wright. htm;. McCarter, Robert. “The Other Traditional American Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis I. Kahn. ” Phi Kappa Phi Forum. 2003. Web. 9 Mar. 2011. ;http://find. galegroup. com/gtx/start. do? prodId=AONE;. Menendez, Frank. “An Accessible Jewel. ” Paralyzed Veterans of America. Mar. 2010. Web. 9 Mar. 2011. “Wright, Frank Lloyd – Overview. ” Jrank Encyclopedia. Web. 15 Mar. 2011. ;http://encyclopedia. jrank. org/articles/pages/6404/Wright-Frank-Lloyd.
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