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"Don't stop to smell the flowers." - Manda_babylove

Organic Architecture

  • Date Submitted: 11/30/2011 11:03 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.5 
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Meet America’s first green Architect – Frank Lloyd Wright. He called it “organic architecture.”

When I was in high school, I came across photos of Fallingwater, the Johnson Wax Building, and the Price Tower. The powerful resonance of those images changed my life.

I remember sitting and staring at those pictures for hours at a time. Intuitively, I knew there was something very magical there, something profound in Mr. Wright’s approach to architecture. Here before me was evidence that the built environment was so much more than floors, walls, and roof.

Fallingwater, nestled into the Pennsylvania countryside and perched on a rock over a waterfall, feels right at home in its dramatic natural environment. Man with nature, not man over nature, is the artistic expression - an extension of nature itself.

In the Johnson Wax Building, lily pad columns artfully structure the main work area manifesting an open environment of space and light. The tower, added later, provides a striking counterpoint to the streamlined linear massing of the original building. Its “tap-root” foundation draws directly from nature for its inspiration.

Especially mesmerizing for me was the plan of the Price Tower – a delightful play of geometries. In the tower floor plan, the square is juxtaposed with a 30-60-120 degree geometry creating an amazing kinetic feel. And in an epiphany for me at the time, I was fascinated with how Mr. Wright consciously augmented the geometry, both horizontally and vertically, when function changed. Each floor in the tower has three square sides of office space; the apartment on the fourth corner is skewed 30 degrees and becomes a two-story space with a bedroom mezzanine looking out over the living space below. The mezzanine takes back the geometry of the rest of the building in geometric sympathy. Beautiful!

I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time at Taliesin, both in Wisconsin and Arizona as adjunct faculty and (as often as I can) a...


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