FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

Mr. Wright strolling the campus with his cane but without his cape. Frank Lloyd Wright spent the last two decades of his life overseeing the largest single-site collection of his designs.

I remembered my architectural studies of Frank Lloyd Wright, (FLW) and his unusual life, when I read colleague and author PJ Sharon’s post about the windy city, Chicago. The windy city, changed by the impact of FLW, and where Paula attended Romantic Times Booklovers convention, has a collection of FLW designs, the likes of which are unsurpassed.  (Look for Paula’s convention link at the end If you want to read about her experience.)

Paula’s post reminded me of FLW and his dedication to architecture. FLW,  King of architecture, influenced the architectural community with his daring, his technology, his attitude. There was an irresistible charm about him. Women adored him, men admired him, architects envied him. He spoke to women’s groups telling them how to live, how to decorate, how to get out of the rut of loving dead things, things with no form. He managed to open up a new way for these women to see form. What is form? In order for form to resonate, make you feel good, it needs to have soul. Houses of the times were rigid boxes with no soul, until FLW opened them up. Victoriana had no soul, just lots and lots and lots of collections. His openness was a fresh new way to live. In his gentle way of talking to the women who listened with a passion, he said “Ornament is not about prettying the outside of something, but rather it should have balance, proportion, harmony.” All of which creates  what FLW called the natural house. A house that blends with the land, a house that is designed with views to let the outside in.

Built in 1934 for Malcolm and Nancy WIlley, this Minneapolis home was restored in 2007 using cypress, plaster and regional brick.
Photo by Terrence Moore
It was abandoned for seven years, and totally disheveled, but here it is restored to its natural house form.
FLW never earned a degree. He left engineering school to apprentice in Chicago in the office of Adler and Sullivan. He learned on the job, then his opened his own practice. His belief in the natural, organic architecture, evolved from his exposure to Japanese architecture, his belief in simplicity, the nature of materials and influence of England’s Arts and Crafts Movement. He integrated these ideas of his time as he would the parts of a house, composing a symphonic whole that transcended the parts.
FLW not only did lots of buildings, but also did many wives. Frank at 69 with one of his many wives.

FLW home and studio with great gift shop

Here’s a FLW gift shop link: http://www.shopwright.org/

 

 

Do you have a FLW house or wish you had one?

Paula’s convention link:    http://secretsof7scribes.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/rt-recap.

“Inspiration is fifty percent dedication and fifty percent discipline. Together they equal progress.”

SEATING PRETTY

SEATING PRETTY

Sit yourself down my dear, in your favorite chair, do not fret, do not sweat, for all you cherish is beneath your seat.

Kitchen Chair 16x16x32"

The crème de la crème is from the 1988 Harry N. Abrams, Inc “397 Chairs” collection. The “Kitchen Chair” by artist Sylvia Netzer. The chair is made of steel tubes, silicon and  found objects.

The almighty chair we all take for granted is not always what we expect. For the last two weeks we have discussed the talented, think-out-of-the-box, architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. His architecture reached new heights (oops, an unintended pun) of creativity and function. He designed the interior to reflect the exterior in design, use of materials and function. His seating was accommodating, but uncomfortable with its too deep seats and too stiff backs.

Dining Chair Robie House

All seating must have some pitch to the backs to allow for butt space. But not too much then you will see dangling feet. It is important when getting seating to test your best not only for pretty, but also for fitting your purpose.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect of Horizontality, designed this dining chair for the FLW Robie House in Hyde Park, Chicago. See what I mean by back pitch in the drawings below.

The Boynton Dining Chairs now being manufactured by Copeland were designed for the E. E. Boynton House in Rochester, New York. Mr. Boynton wanted comfortable seating for his guests, so Wright designed a chair back with a compound curve in it that would support a person’s shoulders and give lumbar support for the lower back. Lacking the technology to actually create the compound curved panel, the design was relegated to Wright’s archives for the last 100 years.


Let’s take a last long look at a really comfortable chair. The good old Club Chair.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

With James permission here he is in his fav chair…James Kaston, of Remains Lighting, NYC with his cat, Pinky, in his antiques-filled apartment in Stuyvesant Town. Besides his Pinky, the cat who has gone on to pinky heaven, James loves his Napoleon III chair. Can you see enough to get the idea of comfort for your weary soul, pardon, I mean seat?

Have you experienced seating that you can’t wait to get out of and run away as fast as you can? Like, how many of you sit and relax at White Castle, like our stockbroker friend who couldn’t fit?

Until next week…more U-know…wrapped around another story.

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