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Arts >> 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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