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May 03, 1959 - Image 14

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Frank Lloyd Wright

FOR OVER 70 years Frank Lloyd Wright conceived a new type of
Wright designed buildings of architecture, something which he
all kinds as he believed they should called "organic," and defined it as
be built, and for over 70 years one in which entity is the ideal,
Wright was a center of contro- with the nature of the materials
versy. and the nature of the purpose
In 1887, when he began his de- coming clear and true to them-
signing work, contem'porary build- selves. It belongs to the site for
ings were cluttered with "ginger- which it was designed. A Wright
bread" decorations and houses house designed for the Arizona
were large boxes with smaller desert could never be transplanted
boxes set inside to serve as rooms. to the shore of Lake Michigan, for
The young architect rebelled the house in the desert belongs to
against the tradition-bound archi- the desert and becomes an integral
tecture of the period and the re- part of its surroundings.
turn to pseudo-classic styles which
became the vogue after the World's 'HE WORD "nature" was used
Fair in 1893, by Wright often in his expla-
=nations and descriptions of his
!architecture. As he told a group
I of University students here two
Your figure Is your years ago, "the only way to great
architecture is through nature. I1
fortune,.in FORTUNA. don't mean trees and animals and
The marvel of magic way things are made by nature;
the way you are made, and from
Slength" shirring and the ground up."
An important part of Wright's
elasticized bengaline architecture is the way in which
he used materials. He believed that
capitalize on every each material had a nature of its
own and that appropriate designs
curve. 10-16 17.95 for one material would not be ap-
propriate for another material,
In addition to using materials in
accordance with their nature,
Wright believed that the various
materials should look like what
they really are. Thus wood panel-
ing was stained, not painted, and
cement blocks and concrete were
Jan Rahin, a long-time ad-
tnirer of Wright and his work,
has read many books by and
about hIn.

colored a neutral, natural-looking i
buff or gray, not gaudy rainbow
shades. Wallpaper was banished n
as something altogether unnatural.
W RIGHT'S buildings haven'
great deal of ornamentation,
with most of it within the frame
work of the buildings.
For a building to be truly sue-
cessful, Wright insisted that he be
allowed to design the furnishingsi
and to decide what paintings and s"
other ornamental objects should .max
be used. The custom-designed fur-
nishings thus help give unity to'- , ,. ,"
the structure.
From the beginning, Wright cut
out the excesses in a building.
These include basements, attics,
cornices and interior walls which
serve only to box in a room. He cut This Wright-designed house is the home of Prof. William Palmer
off the gables and pillars of the of the economics department. It is located on a hill in the south-
Queen Anne houses being designed east section of Ann Arbor and has the privacy from neighbors
at the turn of the century and which Wright demanded of a site. The house is unique in that it
created the "prairie houses" with does not have any right angles,
long, horizontal lines which hugged
the ground, and made more livable tors allowed the design to go seum would actually see the pie-
by the fluid movement of space be- through. tures as the artist do when they
tween rooms no longer boxed in. This was not the case, however, step back to look while still work-
with the still unfinished Guggen- ing at their easels.
WRIGHT was the first to use heim Museum in New York. The But much of the criticism of
poured concrete in the mono- design for the circular structure Wright did not come simply as a
lithic Unity Temple in Chicago. with a continuous spiraling ramp result of his work.
He was also the first to use con- was slightly modified to conform Wright was an individualist and
crete blocks with a design worked with the city building codes. a non-conformist in an era noted
into them. h for its cooperative efforts in al-
His Imperial Hotel in Tokyo OBJECTORS to Wright's work most all fields, including architec-
was built with a non-rigid struc- have been legion, and their ture. He did not believe in collec-
ture which was capable of shifting reasons for disapproval have been tive work and he condemned
with the movement of the earth, many and varied, competitions to be decided by a
During the disasterous earthquake Those in favor of conventional committee, because he felt the
of 1923, the hotel was the only styles of architecture found him committee threw out the very best
large structure which withstood impossible. Equally vociferous and the very worst designs and
the shock, proving that his un- against him were modern archi- picked the mediocre.
orthodox ideas for the building tects, who have worked with the Many consider Wright the
were not just so much nonsense. "steel cage" idea and with abun- greatest modern architect. He
The design for the Imperial Ho- dant use of glass in almost every- did not have such a low opinion
tel was not the only one which thing. These architects have cri- of himself. He felt that he had
was attacked as being structurally ticized Wright for the exuberance realized the goal he set for him-
unsound. Wright almost completed of his ornamentation, while they self early in his career: "Not only
the work for a degree in civil en- have prefered to use stark, severe do I intend to be the greatest ar-
gineering and he constantly exper- lines in their buildings, chitect who has ever lived, but
imented with new techniques. the greatest who will ever live."
When he designed the Johnson's ONE OF THE most unusual com-
Wax building using mushrooming plaints about a Wright design WRIGHT often claimed that he
tree - like supporting columns, came from artists whose work will had brought the house down
building authorities considered be exhibited in the new Guggen- to fit the scale of a human being--
them unsafe. Wright proved their heim Museum. They claimed that that is five feet, eight and one-
practicability by setting up one of the sloping walls against which half inches tall, which just hap-
the columns in a field and heap- the pictures would be hung would pened to be his own height.
ing sand on top of it with a steam not give the proper "rectilinear He frequently used low ceilings
shovel. Even he was surprised when frame of reference." in passageways so as to emphasize
60 tons of pressure failed to crack Wright scoffed at this idea and a high ceiling in a main room of a
the column. The building inspec- retorted that viewers in the Mu- building. When a six foot four
---------- -- ---~- inch tall man once exploded at
this practice, asking why the halls
were not in proportion so that he
would not bump his head on the
ceiling, Wright retorted by asking,
B t"Have you ever stopped to think
that you may be out of propor-
PROPONENTS of Wright claimed
- ishaughty obstinance was
necessary to fulfill his goal of
bringingforth a new type of ar- -
Mothrs ae etitld tothectecture.
Nicest Gifts you can select. That architectue has been
deeply affected by Wright's work
You will surely find beautiful is something that cannot be
denied ,
things for her at our shop --A partial list of his contribu- i
tions include the split-level living
We can moil therm for you. room, the corner picture window,
radient floor heating and the car-
port, which are common features
o1 today's buildings, even in mass-
built housing developments.
JQ1 TLET YJust how lasting Wright's phi-
JO A L E ID Ulosophy of architecture will be is
Phone NO -6779 0 601 East Liberty something that only time can tell
It may be that his basic ideas 0
' an organic architecture will live
longer than his specific designs.

II .,

New Reading
The Ugly American
- Lederer & Burdick
Unarmed in Paradise
-Ellen Marsh
The Optimist
- Herbert Gold
Collision Course
-Alvin Moscow
The Status Seekers
-Vance Packard
The Affluent Society
- John Galbraith
Passionella and Other
Stories - Jules Feiffer
(author of Sick, Sick, Sick)
Your College Bookstore

ladies' casual wear
and accessories
1212 SovtiriUNvERSIT
Campus Theatre Bldg.
Page Fourteen

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