- A brilliant
Lloyd Wright, became
the spokeman for American architecture around the world.
He understood human needs and administered to them
through his work. Above all he sought repose, a restful
environment free of tension which catered to the mental
health and happiness of the indweller. Born in Richland
Center, Wisconsin, in 1890, Wright not only influenced
this area with his Prairie Style architecture, but
expanded to Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York, and
eventually beyond the boundaries of the United
Wright conceived of the interior space in terms of rooms
overlapping and interpenetrating--often at the corners.
Use areas were defined by screaning devices and subtle
changes in ceiling heights. For Wright, spaces were
defined rather than enclosed, and use was relative to the
individual rather than absolute.
Until the outbreak of war in 1914, Wright continually
evolved the prairie house toward greater abstraction in
Oak Park, near Chicago. Roofs and balconies gradually
became flat, hovering slabs, and a geometric interplay
between verticals and horizontals replaced an emphais
upon wall. Even his non-residential work reflected this
development: the Larkin Administration Building and Unity
Temple reiterated geometric shapes and the uselessness of
a visible roof.
In the 1920s in Los Angeles, Wright continued to develop
his architectural vocabulary with cast blocks of
concrete. Especially of note are the residences known as
the Hollyhock House for Adine Barnsdall, the Freeman
House, and the Ennis-Brown House in Griffith Park. Each
house has its own distinctive signature block design, a
natural form reduced to pure geometry.
In 1936 he designed and built both Fallingwater in
Connecticut and the Johnson Administration building. Near
Phoenix, Arizona, he built Taliesin West as a winter
retreat. His last project during his long and illustrious
life was the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan. A circular
spiral of a building, the Guggenheim became an icon of
New York architecture.