Frank Lloyd Wright 2


Frank Lloyd Wright’s Genius Essay, Research Paper

These ideas proposed by Wright represent a half century of

ingenuity and unrivaled creativity. Wright was unquestionably a

architectural genius and was years ahead of his time. The biggest

obstacle which held Wright back throughout his career was the lack of

technogaly that was present during his time. As a architect, Wright

accomplished more that any other in history, with the possible

exception of DaVincci or Michangelo. His philosophy of Organic

Architecture showed the world that form and function could both by

achieved to create a house that was both true to nature and

affordable. Wrights homes, have today become monuments of greatness

and distictionn. Most of them serve as museums, displaying the his

ideas and the achievements of a lifetime of innovation. It wasn’t

until Wright published “The Natural House” however, that he fully was

able to illustrate all of his ideas relating toward housing. In the

“Natural House” wright defines the meaning of Organic Architecture and

how it can be applied to creating housing which provides a closeness

to nature for the occupents. Wright was undoubtly a romantic and

individualist. His feeling toward nature and self integrity can best

be shown by comparing them to those shared by Emerson and Thoreau.

Wrights deep love of nature and his individualism were formed from the

events which influenced him as a child and up until his days working

for Louis Sullivan. In order to fully understand the ideas which

Wright proposed through his philosophy of Organic Architecture, one

must first understand the events and influences which led to their


As a child, Wrights parents always encouraged him to be a free

thinker and individualist. Both of his parents were intelligent and

creative people by nature. They, of all people had the greatest

influence on Wright. Throughout his life they were extreamly

supportive of Wrights dream of becoming an architect, and always made

sure that he had books and pictures of buildings that he could study

and learn from. Wrights parents had little money, but they always

found the extra money needed to support their childrens intrusts. When

Wright became old enough to begin learning about working, his parents

felt that sending him to his uncles dairy farm during his summer break

from school would provide him with the proper work ethics and morals

needed to become a responsible adult. The work on the farm was

rigorous and seemingly endless to Wright. He despised the chores which

he was required to do. Wright attempted to run away almost each summer

that he was sent there. However, his kind but stern uncle promised him

that all of his hard work would make him a better person and would

teach him responsibility. As the years passed, Frank began to dread

working on the farm less and less. He became fascinated with nature

and developed a deep respect for it. It was there, on a small

Wisconsin dairy farm where Wright began to ponder the theory of

integrating architecture with nature. Wright attributed his love

toward nature and his respect toward it, to the many summers which he

spent on his uncles farm.

The other major influence in Wright’s life, was the collapsing of

the State of Wisconsin Capitol Building. At the time, Wright was only

13 when he witnessed the building collapse upon itself, killing all 40

workers who were inside it. Severely traumatized and unable to sleep

for weeks, Wright kept wondering why the tragic incident occurred.

Weeks later, it was revealed that the cause of the buildings collapse

was a lack of support from the pilars which held up the above 3

stories. The architect and the builder both reglected to test the

pilars before they were introduced into the buildings structural

design. After Wright learned this, he vowed that if he became a

architect, he would thourghly test all of the support membranes used

in the construction of all the building projects which he oversaw. The

greatest factor which Wright put forth in his philosophy of Organic

Architecture was that of safety. Wright felt that all buildings,

whether they were commercial or residential should be built and

designed so that they were structuraly sound as well as true to

nature. Wright illustrates his feeling toward the importenance of

safety by saying “There is no excuse which I have heard, that can

compensate for a poorly designed building. The only thing that I can

say about a individual who takes no responsibility for his ideas is

either lazy or a truely uncareing person”(Wright, The The Natural

House,74). Wright seldom talked about the tragic callamiaty which he

witnessed as youth, but it was clear that the memory left a deep

impression upon him.

At only 16 years of age, Wright began studing Civil Engineering

at the University of Wisconsin. Growing board with his clases, Wright

left his studies and went to Chicago hoping that he could obtain a job

as a architects apprentice. Fortunatly Wright sucessfully managed to

secure a apprenticespib job with Louis Sullivan, renowned modern

architect. Wright worked with Louis Sullivan and his partner Dankmar

Adler, for 6 years. During this time, Wright learned form Sullivan

what his studies at the University of Wisconsin lacked: a design

concept which was new, and was logical to Wright. Sullivan shared the

same feeling toward about Wrights philosophy of Organic Architecture.

Sullivan showed Wright how his philosophy could be applied to the

housin needs of the late 1800’s. Without Sullivans direction and

guidence, Wright may have never been able to accomplish what he did.

Wright referred to Sullivan as “Lieber Miester” because Wright felt

that he was truely a master at his work and should be addressed with

the utmost of respect. Unfortunatly, when Sullivan found out that

Wright was moonlighting, he was forced to fire him. Sullivan felt

betrayed and was left sadned by the incident. Wright was so involved

with his ideas that he neglected to respect the trust and teachings

put forth by his teachings. After Wright first began to recieve praise

for his early design work, he felt it necessary to fully communicate

and define his philosophy of Organic Architecture, so that everyone

could get a clear picture of it’s ideas. He to accomplished this by

expressing his ideas in a book called “The Natural House”. Of all

books which Wright published, “The Natural House” had the greatest

impact. As Emerson and Threau proposed divine models for behavior and

self integrety, In “The Natural House” Wright proposed a divine model

for what he considered to be the perfect house. Wright stated that a

house should be as close to nature as possible. He illustrates this by

stating “A house which is constructed in a manner which is

complementive to nature, rather than insulting, is one that will last

the longest and be the most attractive.”

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