Frank Lloyd Wight, an American architect that was considered to be one of the greatest in the 20th century. He was a pioneer in the modern style of architecture. For more than 70 years, frank showed his countrymen ways to build their homes and see the world around them.
He created some of the most monumental, and some of most intimate space in America. He has designed everything from banks and resorts, office buildings and churches, a filling station and a synagogue, a beer garden and an art museum. Frank was born June 8, 1867, in Richland, Wisconsin and died in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 9, 1959, at the age of 91. His Father, a musician, abandoned the family in 1885. He grew up under the leadership of his mother, Anna, and his aunts and uncles on a farm near spring Green, Wisconsin.
When he entered the University of Wisconsin in 1884 his interest in architecture had already declared itself. There were no courses offered in his chosen field. He ended up going into the civil engineering program and gained some experience that would later help him in the designs of his buildings. He went to Chicago in 1888, where he became a designer for a firm called Adler and Sullivan. He worked directly under Louise Sullivan for six years. Louise was one of the only people that Wright ever acknowledged as an influence.
Wright and Sullivan parted in 1893 when Sullivan discovered that Wright had been selling house designs on his own. A while passed before they became friends again. Wright’s life was marred with marital problems, and the scandals connected with them scared away many potential clients. He stayed with his first wife, Catherine, for twenty years.
They had six children together. While he was still married to Catherine he went off to Europe with Marnah Cheney, the wife of a client. He returned to Spring Green in 1911 with Chaney and built a home and studio that he called Taliesin. Tragedy struck Wright in 1914, when a servant at Taliesin murdered Cheney, her two children, and four other people before setting the place on fire. He began to rebuild Taliesin right immediately after the fire. After Catherine granted him a divorce in 1922, he married Miriam Noel.
She was a very emotional unstable woman. He separated form her not too long afterwards. In 1927 he got a divorce from Miriam. In 1927, he married His third wife.
Olgivanna Milanoff was the wife that he would finally stay with. They would live at the rebuilt Taliesin, which became his studio and a center for training apprentices in his architectural principles. He later built Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, and from then on, the studio and apprentices moved to Arizona for the winter. Wright created the philosophy of “organic architecture,” the center principle of which maintains that the building should develop out of its natural surroundings. From the outset he exhibited bold originality in his designs for both private and public structures and rebelled against the ornate neoclassic and Victorian styles favored by conventional architects.
Wright believe that each building should have its own identity and it should be determined in each case by the particular function of the building, its environment, and the type of materials used in the structure. He used various building materials for their natural colors and textures, as well as for their structural characteristics. He developed rooms that have a sense of spaciousness, which derives from open planning with one room flowing into another. This showed up in his early single-family houses, the so-called prairie houses. He started many new techniques, such as the precast concrete blocks reinforced by steel rods. Among his most remarkable engineering feats was the design of the huge Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Constructed to withstand earthquakes.
To obtain the required flexibility, he used cantilever construction with a foundation floating on a bed of soft mud. The building was completed in 1922, and it suffered no damage in the disastrous earthquake that occurred in the following year. Wright achieved his goal of low-cost, democratic American architecture with his Usonian houses of the 1930’s. Usonia was Wright’s term for United States of North America, with an I added for a pleasing sound. The Usonian houses had a simple design, usually with the L-shaped floor plan. This plan separated the noisier living space on the one leg of the L from the quieter bedroom space on the other leg.
The floor was made of concrete slabs, typically in a square grid of 4 by 4ft for easy construction. Pipes carrying heated water ran beneath the floor and provided radiant heat. The kitchen, which Wright called the workspace, and two supporting walls at each end of the house were of masonry. Long wood panels, emphasizing the structure’s horizontality, were used for both interior and exterior walls. Glass window walls on the inside of the L opened onto the yard, while the wooden outside of the L closed the house from the street.
Of the more than 1100 projects Wright had designed of his lifetime, nearly one-third were created during the last decade of his life. Wright had an astounding capacity for self-renewal and was tireless in his efforts to create an architecture that was truly American. Through his work, his writings, and the hundreds of apprentice architects that trained at his side, his ideas have been spread throughout the world. Bibliography: for self-renewal and was tireless in his efforts to create an architecture that was truly American.
Through his work, his writings, and the hundreds of apprentice architects that trained at his side, his ideas have been spread throughout the world.