Louis Wright's Organic Architecture

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ORGANIC ARCHITECTURE:
EXAMINING WRIGHT’S PRINCIPLE OF DESIGN
THROUGH FALLINGWATER AND THE GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM

I. INTRODUCTION
The architecture of the United States at the turn of the century – 1895 to 1905 – was at best, a collection of eclectic styles, with hardly one relating in anyway or sense to the ideal of the nation in which it was built. This was an era which regarded architecture as an application of fashion and styles, unrelated to structure or construction techniques. Yet it was also a time when the entire construction industry was undergoing revolutionary changes. New materials were emerging, and new methods of handling the older materials were being developed at the same time. Under the background of industrialization, Wright had
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From Sullivan’s explanation on the relationship of form and function, he justified his solution by an analogy with nature: ‘All things in nature have a form, an outward semblance that tells us what they are, that distinguishes them from ourselves and from each other. Unfailingly in nature these shapes express the inner life, the native quality’ (Sullivan, 1896) . He stated that the purpose of the building should be regarded as the starting point of the design method. Wright adopted it and went far beyond the interpretation of the Sullivan, ‘Form and functions are one’ become a crucial element of Wright’s organic…show more content…
Kaufmann, Fallingwater. In Wright’s essay ‘The Nature House’, he wrote that a proper house should be one that is “integral to site; integral to environment; integral to the life of the inhabitants” (Wright, 1970). Houses were placed to be fitted to clients; their form should be so in tune with the setting as to appear that they were growing from their site, like a tree grows from the ground. With the special typology of this site, the design principle of Fallingwater advances ‘form follows functions’ to ‘form and functions are one’.

As wright’s believed buildings should look as if they belong to the ground with the sense of repose that the planes parallel to the earth in buildings do most to make the building belong to the ground. Wright recognized the key to Fallingwater site was the fractured rock shelf that had resulted in the creation of the waterfall. Broad and thick, it is the ground exposed. But unlike the ground, it hangs out in space, the earth beneath it having eroded away. While it seems to be an unbuildable site for most architects, this became the primary sources of inspiration of the
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