Frank Lloyds Wright
Frank Lloyds Wright was an American architect, who designed more than 1000 structures, of which 532 were completed. Wright developed a philosophy called ‘’Organic Architecture’’, which promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world. He is widely considered the greatest architect of the 20th century.
Frank Lloyds Wright was born on June 8, 1867 in Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and upon leaving became an assistant of architect Louis Sullivan, a famous architect known as the ‘’father of skyscrapers’’, who had a profound influence on Wright. After Wright left the practice under Sullivan, he established his own practice. Wright’s first example of his ‘’organic architecture’’ was his design of the Winslow house in River Forest 1893, which was considered a revolutionary style, compared to the aesthetic and elaborate styles in Europe at the time.
Wright got critical acclaim for his ‘’prairie school’’ buildings he designed which made use of locally available wood and material, which emphasizes the natural beauty and made him a celebrity. Following this he moved to Germany, where further success meant he had raised his international stock and became one of the most talented architects in the world at the time.
In 1915 the Emperor of Japan commissioned Wright to design the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Wright devoted seven years of his life to this project, which was lauded across the country for its beauty, and boasted that it was ‘’earthquake proof’’. His claim was put to test the next year when the Great Kanto Earthquake struck the city and devastated everything in sight, however the hotel was the city’s only largest structure to survive.
Wright seemed to have peacefully retired by the mid-1930s due to the lack of architectural commissions during the great depression, however he made a comeback in 1935, at the age of 68, announcing his return to the profession. It was during this period that he designed some of his most well renowned structures, after he came out of his retirement. He designed the Fallingwater, a residence for the Kaufmann family, which is still lauded as a national American landmark today due to its incredible structure and beauty.
In the late 1930s, Wright designed middle-income homes known as ‘’Usonian houses’’, which employed many revolutionary features such as solar heating and natural cooling.
Wright made many advances to the field of architecture, and his unique take on architecture lead to him establishing his own school of philosophy within the field. For his great contributions, many view him to be the greatest architecture of the 20th century.