Considered the most influential architect of his time, Frank Lloyd
Wright designed about 1,000 structures, some 400 of which were
built. He described his "organic architecture" as one that
"proceeds, persists, creates, according to the nature of man and
his circumstances as they both change." As a pioneer whose ideas
were well ahead of his time, Wright had to fight for acceptance of
every new design. The famous American architect, Frank Lloyd
Wright, was the son of
William C. Wright
Anna Lloyd Jones
the United States in the small rural community of Richland Center,
Wisconsin on June 8, 1867. His early influences were his clergyman
father's playing of Bach and Beethoven and his mother's gift of
geometric blocks. He entered the University of Wisconsin at 15 as
a special student, studying engineering because the school had no
course in architecture. Wright left Madison in 1887 to work as a
draftsman in Chicago.
In order to study architecture and learn the
traditional, classical language, Wright, the country
boy, had to go to Chicago. Wright worked for several
architectural offices until he finally found a job with
the most cultured architect of the Mid
, soon becoming Sullivan's chief assistant.
That same year, in 1887, Wright carried out his first
design, in a wooden version of the eclectic, Queen
Anne Style, the
Hillside Home School
of 1891 is a perfect amalgamation of these
sources into his own version of Free Style Classicism.
Preliminary plans were approved on October 15, 1935,
after which Wright made a further visit to the site and
provided a cost estimate for the job. In December 1935 an
old rock quarry was reopened to the west of the site to
provide the stones needed for the house’s walls. Wright
only made periodic visits during construction, instead
assigning his apprentice Robert Mosher as his permanent
The final working drawings were
issued by Wright in March 1936 with work beginning on
the bridge and main house in April 1936.
The strong horizontal and vertical lines are a distinctive
The construction was plagued by conflicts between Wright
and the construction contractor
For the cantilevered floors Wright and his team used
upside down T
shaped beams integrated into a monolithic
concrete slab which both formed the ceiling of the space
below and provided resistance against compression. It was
at Kaufmann’s request that his consulting engineers
redrew Wright’s reinforcing drawings and doubled the
amount of steel specified by Wright. This additional steel
not only added weight to the slab but was set so close
together that the concrete often could not properly fill in
between the steel, which weakened the slab.
As a result,
the cantilever developed a noticeable sag. Upon learning
of this, Wright temporarily replaced Mosher with Edgar
In October 1937 the main house was completed.
in 1935. The design of the
home promotes a harmony between man and nature, so
that the buildings, walls and structures within the home
are extensions of the exterior world.
was designed for the Edgar J. Kaufmann
family of Pittsburgh, the founders of a prominent
department store in the city called Kaufmann's.
Construction on the project began in 1936 and was
completed in 1939. In designing the house, Wright
mimicked the natural pattern of rock ledges over the
waterfall and cantilevered the house over the falls in a
series of concrete ledges, anchored to masonry walls
made of the same sandstone as the rock ledges. This view
of the home is perhaps the most famous of all.
The house hovers right over the rushing mountain stream in
perfect harmony. The house extends 30 feet in height above the
rock ledges, although strong horizontal lines and low ceilings help
maintain an overall sheltering feeling. The outdoor ledges of the
home are complete with terraces that overlook the streams and
the wilderness surrounding the home. In fact, there is nearly as
much floor space taken up by outdoor terraces as there is in the
indoor rooms. Inside the home, spaces drift into an array of
wooden furnishings, constructed as extensions of the home,
rather than furniture place inside a home. The low ceilings curve to
nature, not upward to a grandeur interior. Light from the outdoors
is designed to naturally illuminate the home.
When the construction of the home was completed in 1939, the
Kaufmann family used the home for vacations in all seasons. Also
in the home are objects of artistic value and other accouterments
left by the Kaufmann family.
The natural beauty of the surrounding area.
Ability to embrace the natural world
physically and spiritually
People being engaged actively with the