Essay: Frank Lloyd Wright's Works

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Frank Lloyd Wright

A case could be made that Frank Lloyd Wright was the greatest architect in the history of the United States. There is no doubt that he is the most well-known and revered of all American architects. This paper reviews two of his most noted works, Fallingwater, and Taliesin West. How do these two iconic buildings reflect on Wright's life? That question will also be explored.

Fallingwater

At seventy-seven years old, Wright's Fallingwater home in western Pennsylvania is still a "breathtaking" place to visit, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Carpenter, 2011). It was designed by Wright in 1935 and built in the years 1936-1939, and a guest house was built in 1939 (Fallingwater.org). Fallingwater's original cost was $155,000 (that included $8,000 for Wright's architecture fee and $4,500 for walnut furnishings). The main house takes up 5,330 square feet (2,445 of that area is made up of terraces) and the guest house is 1,700 square feet (Fallingwater.org).

Fallingwater was build for the Edgar J. Kaufmann family, owners of Kaufmann's Department Store in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Edgar, his wife Liliane, and their son Edgar Kaufman Junior lived in the Fallingwater home; Liliane died in 1952, Edgar Sr. died in 1955, and Edgar Jr. (who lived in the house until 1963) died in 1989.

Wright went to the trouble to make water "…a part of the house," said Lynda Waggoner, who is vice president of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and director at Fallingwater (Carpenter, 2011). Hence, Wright designed a system in which water is piped in from the stream and it "trickles through the stone" inside the house; "It's such a full-blown example of his genius," Waggoner explained. The house and the splashing water sounds are the ideal expression of "organic architecture," Waggoner continued, asserting that Fallingwater was just a weekend home for the Kaufmann family and it worked well in that context. The fact that the house is preserved in its natural world setting has been one of the positives for its legacy; indeed, the house is "…surrounded by 5,000 protected acres of pristine woodland" (Carpenter, p. 2).

How does Fallingwater reflect on Frank Lloyd Wright's life?

Wright was a man who… [END OF PREVIEW]

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