In the same year of his studio’s conception, Wright attended the Colombian Exposition in Chicago where he was introduced to the Japanese Ho-o-den Temple by fellow architect and historical preservationist, Clay Lancaster. Lancaster’s emphasis on the design importance of the temple left a great impression on Wright. Throughout his working life, Wright drew upon Japanese art while stating, on the contrary, that Japanese architecture served as a demonstration of his own principles rather than a model for his work. It is a subject that still fascinates design scholars today.
“The majority of Wright’s 532 completed structures are exemplary cases of organic architecture.”
Regardless of debate, Wright had his deepest roots and investment in the great wilderness. Used to highlight a more natural form in the relationship between a building and its surroundings, the majority of Wright’s 532 completed structures are exemplary cases of organic architecture. These spaces became interpretations of the foundations of which they were built upon.
The pinnacle of such a philosophy was fleshed out later in Wright’s career in the design and construction of Fallingwater (the Kaufmann Residence). Marked by many to be not only Wright’s most beautiful creation, but also an example of some of the all-time greatest work of American architecture, the structure was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. A principal so spirited in his work perhaps was best described when he said, “I believe in God. Only, I spell it Nature.”
Written by Sheila Lam
Headline photo of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum by Sharon Mollerus