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ARCH417Class08

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In this class we discuss the early work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

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ARCH417Class08

  1. 1. ORGANIC ARCHITECTURE
  2. 2. agenda 9.21.15 our societies have radically changed with industrialization the old architectural styles feel irrelevant and forced, like costumes or disguises for new models, should we turn to nature or to the machine?
  3. 3. Rathaus, on the Ringstrasse
  4. 4. Parliament Building, on the Ringstrasse
  5. 5. how do we get rid of this eclecticism? what will our modern style be?
  6. 6. Great Workroom • Columns are 9 inches diameter at the bottom, 18 feet in diameter at the top. • Not OK with building inspectors. • Test column needed to hold 12 tons of weight. Wright kept going until the column crashed under 60 tons of weight. • Permit was granted.
  7. 7. how would we describe the "organic" in: Guimard (1902) Wright (1936)
  8. 8. • Born 1867 to farming family • Parents divorced and he dropped his father's name • Anna Wright wanted him to be an architect • purchased Froebel blocks at Centennial Expo, 1876 Frank Lloyd WRIGHT (1867-1959)
  9. 9. Froebel blocks
  10. 10. Froebel blocks
  11. 11. • Was admitted to the University of Wisconsin– Madison as a special student in 1886. • Took part-time classes for 2 semesters Frank Lloyd WRIGHT (1867-1959)
  12. 12. Early Work • Hired as a draftsman with the architectural firm of Joseph Lyman Silsbee. • Feeling he was underpaid at Silsbee (at $8 a week), quit and found work at Beers, Clay, and Dutton. • Left new job to return to Silsbee—with a raise in salary. • After less than a year, learned that the Chicago firm of Adler & Sullivan was looking for someone to make the finish drawings for the interior of the Auditorium.
  13. 13. Auditorium Building, Chicago (1886-1890) Adler & Sullivan now Roosevelt University
  14. 14. . Early work in Oak Park, IL. The Victorian elements are still visible here.
  15. 15. Thomas Gale House
  16. 16. Goodrich House
  17. 17. Foster House
  18. 18. Nathan Moore House
  19. 19. Prairie Style What are the characteristics of the prairie environment?
  20. 20. Prairie Style • Wright: "the reality of a building is not the container but the space within." • low slung, stretching lines • broad open spaces instead of strictly defined rooms • careful modulation of relationship between interior and surroundings
  21. 21. Heurtley House, 1902
  22. 22. Ward Willits House, Highland Park, IL, 1902
  23. 23. the house presents a symmetrical facade to the street.
  24. 24. The plan is a cruciform with four wings that extend out from a central hearth.
  25. 25. In addition to art-glass windows and wooden screens that divide rooms, Wright also designed most of the furniture in the house.
  26. 26. The Robie House, Chicago, IL, 1908-9
  27. 27. Plan, Main Floor Plan, Lower Level
  28. 28. Interiors
  29. 29. Larkin Building (1904-1906)
  30. 30. •The Larkin Building was designed in 1904 and built in 1906 for the Larkin Soap Company of Buffalo, New York . • The five story dark red brick building used pink tinted mortar and utilized steel frame construction. •It was noted for many innovations, including air conditioning, stained glass windows, built-in desk furniture, and suspended toilet bowls. • Sculptor Richard Bock provided ornamentation for the building. •Demolished in 1950.
  31. 31. red sandstone; the entrance doors, windows, and skylights glass. Floors, desktops, and cabinet tops were covered with magnesite for sound absorption. For floors, magnesite was mixed with excelsior and poured, and troweled like cement, over a layer of felt to impart its resiliency.
  32. 32. Magnesite was also used for sculptural decoration on the piers surrounding the light court and for panels and beams around the executive offices at the south end of the main floor. Wright designed much of the furniture. The interior walls were made of cream-colored brick. A 76-foot- tall (23 m) light court was located in the center of the building which provided natural sunlight to all of the floors.
  33. 33. Unity Temple (1908) Unitarian Universalist Church Oak Park, IL 1905-8 reinforced concrete
  34. 34. Unity Temple
  35. 35. Unity Temple, Oak Park IL, 1904-1906
  36. 36. To reduce noise from the street, Wright eliminated street level windows in the temple. Instead, natural light comes from stained glass windows in the roof and clerestories along the upper walls
  37. 37. The main floor of the temple is accessed via a lower floor (which has seating space), and the room also has two balconies for the seating of the congregation. These varying seating levels allowed the architect to design a building to fit the size of the congregation, but efficiently: no one person in the congregation is more than 40 feet from the pulpit . Wright also designed the building with very good acoustics .
  38. 38. plan, Unity Temple
  39. 39. Organic Architecture “So here I stand before you preaching organic architecture: declaring organic architecture to be the modern ideal and the teaching so much needed if we are to see the whole of life, and to now serve the whole of life, holding no ‘traditions’ essential to the great TRADITION. Nor cherishing any preconceived form fixing upon us either past, present or future, but—instead—exalting the simple laws of common sense—or of super-sense if you prefer—determining form by way of the nature of materials...” — Frank Lloyd Wright, An Organic Architecture, 1939
  40. 40. The words. (1953) NATURE. Why? As in popular use this word is first among abuses to be corrected. ORGANIC. Ignorant use or limitation of the word organic. FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION. Too many foolish stylistic constructions are placed upon the slogan. ROMANCE. A universal change is taking place in the use of this word, a change to which organic architecture has itself given rise. No longer sentimental. TRADITION. Confusion of all eclectics, especially critics, concerning the word.
  41. 41. The words. (1953) ORNAMENT. The grace or perdition of architecture; for the past 500 years “appliqué.” SPIRIT. Any version or subversion of the word by so-called international style or by any fashion promoted by experts. THIRD DIMENSION. Where and why the term was original. What it now means in architecture. SPACE. A new element contributed by organic architecture as style.
  42. 42. NATURE 1. NATURE means not just the “out-of doors,” clouds, trees, storms, the terrain and animal life, but refers to their nature as to the nature of materials or the “nature” of a plan, a sentiment, or a tool. A man or anything concerning him, from within. Interior nature with capital N. Inherent PRINCIPLE.
  43. 43. ORGANIC 2. The word ORGANIC denotes in architecture not merely what may hang in a butcher shop, get about on two feet or be cultivated in a field. The word organic refers to entity, perhaps integral or intrinsic would therefore be a better word to use. As originally used in architecture, organic means part-to-whole-as-whole-is-to-part. So entity as integral is what is really meant by the word organic. INTRINSIC.
  44. 44. FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION 3. FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION. This is a much abused slogan. Naturally form does so. But on a lower level and the term is useful only as indicating the platform upon which architectural form rests. As the skeleton is no finality of human form any more than grammar is the “form” of poetry, just so function is to architectural form. Rattling the bones is not architecture. Less is only more where more is no good. Form is predicated by function but, so far as poetic imagination can go with it without destruction, transcends it. “Form follows function” has become spiritually insignificant: a stock phrase. Only when we say or write “form and function are one” is the slogan significant. It is now the password for sterility. Internationally.
  45. 45. ROMANCE ROMANCE, like the word BEAUTY, refers to a quality. Reactionary use of this honorable but sentimentalized term by critics and current writers is confusing. Organic architecture sees actuality as the intrinsic romance of human creation or sees essential romance as actual in creation. So romance is the new reality. Creativity divines this. No teamwork can conceive it. A committee can only receive it as a gift from the inspired individual. In the realm of organic architecture human imagination must render the harsh language of structure into becoming humane expressions of form instead of devising inanimate facades or rattling the bones of construction. Poetry of form is as necessary to great architecture as foliage is to the tree, blossoms to the plant or flesh to the body. Because sentimentality ran away with this human need and negation is now abusing it is no good
  46. 46. ROMANCE (II) In the realm of organic architecture human imagination must render the harsh language of structure into becoming humane expressions of form instead of devising inanimate facades or rattling the bones of construction. Poetry of form is as necessary to great architecture as foliage is to the tree, blossoms to the plant or flesh to the body. Because sentimentality ran away with this human need and negation is now abusing it is no good reason for taking the abuse of the thing for the thing. Until the mechanization of buildings is in the service of creative architecture and not creative architecture in the service of mechanization we will have no great architecture.
  47. 47. TRADITION 5. TRADITION may have many traditions just as TRUTH may have many truths. When we of organic architecture speak of truth we speak of generic principle. The genus “bird “ may fly away as flocks of infinitely differing birds of almost unimaginable variety: all of them merely derivative. So in speaking of tradition we use the word as also a generic term. Flocks of traditions may proceed to fly from generic tradition into unimaginable many. Perhaps none have creative capacity because all are only derivative. Imitations of imitation destroy an original tradition. TRUTH is a divinity in architecture.
  48. 48. ORNAMENT 6. ORNAMENT. Integral element of architecture, ornament is to architecture what efflorescence of a tree or plant is to its structure. Of the thing, not on it. Emotional in its nature, ornament is- if well conceived-not only the poetry but is the character of structure revealed and enhanced. If not well conceived, architecture is destroyed by ornament.

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