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The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

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The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright focusses upon the influence that the work of this architect had, not only in his country, the United States of America, but more importantly, on architecture of the 20th century and upon the recognized masters of the Modern Movement in architecture in Europe. The qualities of what is known as ‘Organic Architecture’ developed by Wright, including the open plan, the blurring between exterior and interior, the new uses of materials and technologies and the explicit responses to the suburban and natural settings of the various buildings, have been acknowledged as pivotal in the development of modern architectural design in the 20th century.

The property includes a series of eight buildings designed and built over the first half of the 20th century; each component has specific characteristics, representing new solutions to the needs for housing, worship, work, education and leisure. The diversity of functions, scale and setting of the components of the series fully illustrate the architectural principles of “organic architecture”.

The buildings employ geometric abstraction and spatial manipulation as a response to functional and emotional needs and are based literally or figuratively on nature’s forms and principles. In adapting inspirations from global cultures, they break free of traditional forms and facilitate modern life. Wright’s solutions would go on to influence architecture and design throughout the world, and continue to do so to this day.

The components of the series include houses both grand and modest (including the consummate example of a “Prairie” house and the prototype “Usonian” house); a place of worship; a museum; and complexes of the architect’s own homes with studio and education facilities. These buildings are located variously in city, suburban, forest, and desert environments. The substantial range of function, scale, and setting in the series underscores both the consistency and the wide applicability of those principles. Each has been specifically recognized for its individual influence, which also contributes uniquely to the elaboration of this original architectural language.

Such features related to innovation are subordinated to designs that integrate form, materials, technology, furnishings, and setting into a unified whole. Each building is uniquely fitted to the needs of its owner and its function and, though designed by the same architect, each has a very different character and appearance, reflecting a deep respect and appreciation for the individual and the particular. Together, these buildings illustrate the full range of this architectural language, which is a singular contribution to global architecture in spatial, formal, material, & technological term.

The Outstanding Universal Value of the serial property is conveyed through attributes such as spatial continuity expressed through the open plan and blurred transitions between interior and exterior spaces; dynamic forms that employ innovative structural methods and an inventive use of new materials and technologies; design inspired by nature’s forms and principles; integral relationship with nature; primacy of the individual and individualized expression and transforming inspirations from other places and cultures.

 


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