Term Paper: Architecture's Response to Nature

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Architecture's Response To Nature

Architecture as an art form is far more than merely the design and building of houses that conform to a specific artistic ideal. Although this is indeed a big part of the process, architecture also serves as a platform for the development of new forms and designs, and combining these with the more traditional. Exemplifying these important paradigms are Red House, designed by William Morris and Philip Webb, and the Robie House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his client Frederick C. Robie. Both homes connect not only with the design paradigms of their respective time periods, but also with an element of innovation and development, inspired specifically by the contemporary artistic and environmental elements surrounding them at the time. When comparing these two homes, it becomes clear how each respectively communicates with its environment to denote the specific architectural and artistic ideals behind them.

The Red House was completed in 1860, and served as the origin of the Arts and Crafts movement, as well as the English Free Style of architecture

. As such, the building represented pioneering architecture at its specific time and location. Another important element was Webb's use of local materials and craftsmanship to achieve the effect of Gothic Revival by means of clay tiling, corbelled brick work, rubbed brick arches and circular openings.

Because of its connection with Morris's passion for Arts and Crafts, and as the first of its kind, Red House is considered by some to be the most important Arts and Crafts home in England. As a direct result of the design and decoration of the home, Morris founded his design firm, Morris & Co., which in turn provided a springboard of definition and meaning for the Arts and Crafts movement

. As such, the home was built in harmony not only with its immediate physical environment, but also with the social and artistic needs of the time.

Like the Red House in England, Robie House is also considered one of the most important architectural works in the United States for its contribution to the country's architecture movements as they are manifest today. Like the Red House, Robie House incorporates a pioneering style for its time -- the Prairie Style. As such, its place in history and architecture is secured by its reputation as a forerunner of modernism in architecture.

The Robie House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his business client Frederick C. Robie, a forward-thinking businessman who created a platform for the new, daring and innovative in architecture design. The home was completed in 1910.

Both Red House and Robie House form a unified whole with their respective exteriors. In the case of the Robie House, the Prairie Style involved a design that not only communicated with, but imitated the flat prairie fields of the United States. As such, the house exemplified pioneerism; a historically important American paradigm. Specifically, the design of the house then focused upon the horizontal, with vertical lines hidden as far as possible

In terms of its immediate environment, the shape of the house indicates a movement from exterior space into the interior

. Terraces provide an increasing degree of privacy from the relatively public space of the garden to the private space of the interior. Withdrawing from the west front, the entrance exists as a hidden vertical space, of which the darkness… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Architecture's Response to Nature.  (2010, October 5).  Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/architecture-response-nature/30479

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"Architecture's Response to Nature."  Essaytown.com.  October 5, 2010.  Accessed May 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/architecture-response-nature/30479.