WRIGHT, Frank Lloyd
(b. 1867, Richland Center, d. 1959, Phoenix)


American architect, interior designer and author. Wright is internationally recognized as one of the most important figures in 20th-century architecture. However, unlike other architects whose success and reputation are measured in part by the dispersal of their ideals into the everyday landscape, Wright remained an individualist who made only a slight impact on the evolution of 20th-century architecture. Instead, his fame is derived from his intuitive ability to mould space within an environment and within space itself. He is best known for his "Prairie style" homes, efficient office buildings, and innovative furniture and chinaware designs.

Frank Lloyd Wright began his practice with Louis Henry Sullivan, the first American Art Nouveau architect, and was one of the most productive and revolutionary American architects at that time. Contemporary of Belgian Art Nouveau designers Henry van de Velde and Victor Horta, he was influenced by the British Arts and Crafts Movement, as he worked for architectural and social emancipation.

In 1894, he built his personal house and his workshop in Oak Park, Chicago. Fascinated by Japanese Art, he visited Japan in 1905. He later began designing and building his "Prairies Houses", an original architectural project, where he elaborated new concepts for the shape of the buildings and their relationship to their surrounding environment. In 1909 he travelled in Europe, where he was inspired by European architects. Back in the US in 1911, he founded the Wisconsin School of Architecture in his home.

In 1913, he was back in Japan to finalize the contract for the Imperial Hotel. In 1915, he opened an office in Tokyo, where his extended stay proved a turning point in his work. After his return to Chicago, he published several essays, including "Modern Architecture" (1931), and gave lectures at the university. Up till 1940, he worked chiefly as a teacher and theoretician, after which he again accepted numerous commissions.

His most renowned works of the 1930s were the year-round weekend house, Fallingwater (1934-37) at Bear Run, in southwestern Pennsylvania, and the S. C. Johnson & Co. Administration Building (1936-39) in Racine, Wisconsin. In his late period, he designed the Guggenheim Museum in New York (design 1943, construction 1956-59).

The works of Frank Lloyd Wright are the result of pure functionalism concepts, where the form follows the function. He created simple and linear forms, fluid spatial transitions, intersecting planes and surfaces. He designed low buildings of stone and wood, connecting the inside with the outside of the house by combining terraces, water basins, gardens. The way of life had to coincide with the objects, furniture and architecture in an appropriate environment, near nature.