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Frank Lloyd Wright was an architect who builds his name from his unique designs of buildings. He also authored numerous books and lectured in different colleges in America and Europe. Wrights legacy has remained even after his death because of his outstanding work as an architect and Engineer. The architectural designs by Wright have created an influence on the American people as they have from time to time appreciated his immense talent. His designs never attracted people from Europe; thus, they quickly forgot his outstanding contribution in the field of art. Wright’s ideas influenced art through constructing buildings that are harmonious to the environment. Wright believed that ethical designs would make people respect the environment, appreciate what nature has to give. He also believed that the space within a building constituted the reality of that building. In other words, the space and designs within the house were the features that majorly described the whole structure. Therefore, it was necessary to pay special attention to the interior designs when designing a building. Wright’s designs were original, with great imagination, bold and suitable to the site where the intended construction was to take place. From the early Prairie, residential houses to the Guggenheim Museum in New York on could tell the efforts made by Wright to ensure his work a success. Architecture students though a generation away from Wright they see and acknowledge Wrights drawings and buildings to have intelligence in planning, command over form with exceptional talent and master in architecture, this has vastly motivated them and given them a challenge to be better architects than Wright. Wright embraced using new technology, quality materials and engineering to build some of the most well-known and iconic buildings in the 20th century.
Wright had a humble beginning before success came his way. He was the elder son to William Russell who was a music teacher and Anna Lloyd. His father introduced him to music, but Mr. Wright showed no interest in music. His mother advised and encouraged him to be architecture. The mother introduced him to drawings and prints and in return, Wright gradually developed the skill in Architecture (Lost Years p4). As a young boy, Wright also had a passion for land. This made him spend part of his time during the summer in the farm. Attended Madison High school but dropped out before graduating in a bid to pursue Architecture (New York Media p3). He moved to Chicago where he secured a job as a drafter. As a drafter, he enrolled to pursue civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin. Wright’s ambition helped him meet Chicago’s progressive architects Alder and Sullivan. Louis Sullivan profoundly influenced Wright. Among other things, he employed Wright to head the firm’s building work, offered a loan to Mr. Wright to purchase land for building a house (Wright and Alofsin p9). He was asked to leave the firm when the management found out that he engaged in a lot of private practice. Mr. Wright at the age of 26 was compelled to start his own firm. Due to his determination and hard work, the firm became, no only successful, but also changed the aspects of architecture. Wright succeeded by upholding some philosophical ideals including the organic architecture that maintains that buildings should be constructed out of their environment. This enabled him develop original designs for both private and public structures. The second idea is that building designs should match with the actual form (Lost Years p81). Thirdly, buildings should represent innovative and distinctive structures. Forth is the ambition to achieve an art purely for the Americans which is environmental friendly. Wright’s work inspired both architects and nonprofessionals. It has formed the basis of modern day architecture as architects all over the world seek to improve their services to meet the consumers’ specifications using the limited resources (New York Media p45).
a) Prairie style houses
Wright innovated the prairie style of architecture for residential homes. This style was popular; thus, most people in Chicago adopted it particular among the Ork Park. In the design and building of these houses, great attention was paid to heating, Lighting and climate control. The prairie style created a purely North American architecture (Wright and Alofsin p189). Wright’s work was because of the inspiration he drew from the French rationalist writings, the British Arts, and the crafts movement. Additionally he had knowledge of the architecture of Japan and pre Colombia. A mature and remarkable example of the Prairie style of architecture was the Robie house in Chicago. He constructed the house using brick, concrete, steel, and glass. He made a massive cantilever on the western part of the house (Alofsin p90). This gave the living room shelter from the sun and privacy. It was a unique design because it was different from the traditional box shaped houses. The floor was glittered with ribbons of cream stone and red bricks for walls. Notably the dining and living rooms were spacious, and a perfect furnishing of the house was done (Nute p70).
b) The Unity Temple
The second example of Wright’s work as an architect was the designing and construction of the Unity temple for the Universalist Church at Ork Park, Chicago. Wright accepted the commissioning despite the slim budget of the church. He built a square shaped church and a rectangular meeting hall for socializing. Upon completion, the building was impressive despite the enormous challenges (Wright and Alofsin p89).
c) The Hollyhock house
Wright also constructed the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles design, which was largely inspired by the visit, and experience in Japan (Nute p17). Wright developed a sense of freedom with beautification. He applied an abstract of a hollyhock, which was the client’s favorite flower. . The Hollyhock house constructed by Mr. Wright is a link between the prairie style and the textile blockhouses. While working on the Hollyhock Wright was inspired by the appearance of the concrete block used. It is then when he designed a block, which can be molded, and its size determined. Wright used the newly designed block to build houses in LA (Lost Years p50).
d) Water Falling
Another design by Wright was the Water Falling in1935 at Mill Run, Pennsylvania. In this project, Wright came up with the most imaginative solution in building residential. All the buildings by Wright were built based on his philosophy: Organic architecture. Additionally the concept of a Usonian home, that resulted from the unique mission and vision for urban planning in the United States of America (Nute p120).
e) Imperial Hotel of Tokyo
Wright also designed the imperial Hotel of Tokyo, Japan. The hotel design was such that it could withstand earthquakes. To achieve this, the use of cantilever construction with the foundation made on a bed of soft mud was employed. This building was completed in 1922 and was not damaged by the earthquake. That occurred later that year. Wright upon return from Tokyo designed and constructed similar buildings that could withstand earthquakes to prevent possible loss if the earthquakes occurred (Alofsin p140).
f) Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Wright was also commissioned to design the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Wright designed the museum in a modern, unique, and admirable way. The building had ample space and a spiral ramp that extended from the ground floor to the top of the building. This structure has continued to appease visitors and provide a unique presentation of modern art (Wright and Alofsin p89).
Various architects have hailed Wright’s work on this structure for instance peter Goldberger says that Wright’s building made it culturally accepted for an architect to create an expressive and intensely personal museum. He also cites that the building by Wright gave the direction on how other future museums are to be constructed.
Frank Lloyd Wright in 1957 was commissioned to design and build Marin County centre at San Rafael, California. This was the first government building that Wright was commissioned to build. The building was to house 13 thirteen departments of the county, a hall of justice. In addition, he was required to make preliminary plans for an auditorium, theatre, fairground pavilion and a valley site that is spread over three hills. Wright did an impressive job that left the County yearning for his services but sadly, he died the year that follow (Lost Years p150).
Other architects who drew inspiration, skill, and wisdom frequently quote Frank Llond wright. Over the years, architects have termed Wright as a gifted, talented, intelligent, and imaginative architect (Scully & Neil Levine p43). Unlike the majority of the architects who conceivably are remembered for working for decades, Wright was able to change with fast evolving century. He used the most recent technology and materials like changing from poured concrete to then new under floor heating. It was notable that Wright could offer all his designs for both the rich and poor, thus useful to the society as a whole. He totally changed the whole set up of a residential house (Scully & Neil Levine p132). This is because he believed a house for the family should be a place where all people feel at peace and ease. Notably architects around the world use the books authored by Wright to improve on their skills. Lecturers around the globe cite the work done and direct their students to read books and articles by Wright. Moreover, some of the influential architects in the modern era happened to be Wright’s students and some made him as their role model. This shows the influence the career life and personal life of Frank Lloyd Wright had influenced the modern architectures.
We learn a lot from the life history of Frank Lloyd Wright. He is a true legend whose legacy will pass on from generation to generation. He grew with many ambitions to change America’s infrastructure, something that he gradually achieved from his continuous hard work to innovatively design and execute unique structures that are environmentally sensitive and original. Wright’s mission and ambitions were achieved he was able to create significant difference in architecture. I strongly feel that Wright’s designs still influence the modern day designs since his drawings, books and articles are still used in training new architectures that will be responsible for designing the art of tomorrow. It is also evident that the work of Wright is influential in the day from the fact that some architects acknowledge his work. Most architects in the present world would consider the surrounding factors while designing structures taking into account the interior design of the structure to ensure that the building meets the consumer specifications. It can be summarized that Frank Lloyd Wright set the pace for others to follow in the architecture as a profession.
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