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Frank Lloyd Wright


The Pioneer of creating Greatness Through Simplicity These
ideas proposed by Wright represent a half century of
ingenuity and unrivaled creativity. Wright was
unquestionably a architectural genius and was years ahead
of his time. The biggest obstacle which held Wright back
throughout his career was the lack of technogaly that was
present during his time. As a architect, Wright
accomplished more that any other in history, with the
possible exception of DaVincci or Michangelo. His
philosophy of Organic Architecture showed the world that
form and function could both by achieved to create a house
that was both true to nature and affordable. Wrights homes,
have today become monuments of greatness and distictionn.
Most of them serve as museums, displaying the his ideas and
the achievements of a lifetime of innovation. It wasn't
until Wright published "The Natural House" however, that he
fully was able to illustrate all of his ideas relating
toward housing. In the "Natural House" wright defines the
meaning of Organic Architecture and how it can be applied
to creating housing which provides a closeness to nature
for the occupents. Wright was undoubtly a romantic and
individualist. His feeling toward nature and self integrity
can best be shown by comparing them to those shared by
Emerson and Thoreau. Wrights deep love of nature and his
individualism were formed from the events which influenced
him as a child and up until his days working for Louis
Sullivan. In order to fully understand the ideas which
Wright proposed through his philosophy of Organic
Architecture, one must first understand the events and
influences which led to their creation. As a child, Wrights
parents always encouraged him to be a free thinker and
individualist. Both of his parents were intelligent and
creative people by nature. They, of all people had the
greatest influence on Wright. Throughout his life they were
extreamly supportive of Wrights dream of becoming an
architect, and always made sure that he had books and
pictures of buildings that he could study and learn from.
Wrights parents had little money, but they always found the
extra money needed to support their childrens intrusts.
When Wright became old enough to begin learning about
working, his parents felt that sending him to his uncles
dairy farm during his summer break from school would
provide him with the proper work ethics and morals needed
to become a responsible adult. The work on the farm was
rigorous and seemingly endless to Wright. He despised the
chores which he was required to do. Wright attempted to run
away almost each summer that he was sent there. However,
his kind but stern uncle promised him that all of his hard
work would make him a better person and would teach him
responsibility. As the years passed, Frank began to dread
working on the farm less and less. He became fascinated
with nature and developed a deep respect for it. It was
there, on a small Wisconsin dairy farm where Wright began
to ponder the theory of integrating architecture with
nature. Wright attributed his love toward nature and his
respect toward it, to the many summers which he spent on
his uncles farm. The other major influence in Wrights life,
was the collapsing of the State of Wisconsin Capitol
Building. At the time, Wright was only 13 when he witnessed
the building collapse upon itself, killing all 40 workers
who were inside it. Severely traumatized and unable to
sleep for weeks, Wright kept wondering why the tragic
incident occurred. Weeks later, it was revealed that the
cause of the buildings collapse was a lack of support from
the pilars which held up the above 3 stories. The architect
and the builder both reglected to test the pilars before
they were introduced into the buildings structural design.
After Wright learned this, he vowed that if he became a
architect, he would thourghly test all of the support
membranes used in the construction of all the building
projects which he oversaw. The greatest factor which Wright
put forth in his philosophy of Organic Architecture was
that of safety. Wright felt that all buildings, whether
they were commercial or residential should be built and
designed so that they were structuraly sound as well as
true to nature. Wright illustrates his feeling toward the
importenance of safety by saying "There is no excuse which
I have heard, that can compensate for a poorly designed
building. The only thing that I can say about a individual
who takes no responsibility for his ideas is either lazy or
a truely uncareing person"(Wright, The The Natural
House,74). Wright seldom talked about the tragic callamiaty
which he witnessed as youth, but it was clear that the
memory left a deep impression upon him. At only 16 years of
age, Wright began studing Civil Engineering at the
University of Wisconsin. Growing board with his clases,
Wright left his studies and went to Chicago hoping that he
could obtain a job as a architects apprentice. Fortunatly
Wright sucessfully managed to secure a apprenticespib job
with Louis Sullivan, renowned modern architect. Wright
worked with Louis Sullivan and his partner Dankmar Adler,
for 6 years. During this time, Wright learned form Sullivan
what his studies at the University of Wisconsin lacked: a
design concept which was new, and was logical to Wright.
Sullivan shared the same feeling toward about Wrights
philosophy of Organic Architecture. Sullivan showed Wright
how his philosophy could be applied to the housin needs of
the late 1800's. Without Sullivans direction and guidence,
Wright may have never been able to accomplish what he did.
Wright referred to Sullivan as "Lieber Miester" because
Wright felt that he was truely a master at his work and
should be addressed with the utmost of respect.
Unfortunatly, when Sullivan found out that Wright was
moonlighting, he was forced to fire him. Sullivan felt
betrayed and was left sadned by the incident. Wright was so
involved with his ideas that he neglected to respect the
trust and teachings put forth by his teachings. After
Wright first began to recieve praise for his early design
work, he felt it necessary to fully communicate and define
his philosophy of Organic Architecture, so that everyone
could get a clear picture of it's ideas. He to accomplished
this by expressing his ideas in a book called "The Natural
House". Of all books which Wright published, "The Natural
House" had the greatest impact. As Emerson and Threau
proposed divine models for behavior and self integrety, In
"The Natural House" Wright proposed a divine model for what
he considered to be the perfect house. Wright stated that a
house should be as close to nature as possible. He
illustrates this by stating "A house which is constructed
in a manner which is complementive to nature, rather than
insulting, is one that will last the longest and be the
most attractive." 


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