Frank Lloyd Wright: A Precursor of Sustainable Architecture

Americas (English Edition), September-October 2011 | Go to article overview

Frank Lloyd Wright: A Precursor of Sustainable Architecture


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The notion of sustainability relates to the necessary balance between a specific species, its natural environment, and the system of which it is a part. The end result must extend beyond maintenance of the system without jeopardizing the survival of future generations; to the extent possible it must strive to improve the system.

Sustainability applied to architecture and urban design pertains to the system that views people from a twofold perspective, as individuals and as members of a community, together with the planning and building activities they carry out to modify the system with a view to enhancing it in the future.

Also known as green architecture or eco-architecture, sustainable architecture proposes architectural and urban planning designs that make use of natural resources with minimal impact on the environment, through the rational design of buildings and their materials and infrastructures, and that provide their inhabitants with a sense of well-being.

The 20th century witnessed profound changes and a major revolution in ideas and forms of artistic expression. In architecture, the search for the new art that ushered in the century entailed a radical departure from the past and with it from traditional forms of planning and building. It seemed obvious that, by rejecting old methods and exploring the infinite possibilities of new materials and manufactured products along with the fresh ideas inspiring creative processes, success would be ensured. However, those new interests abandoned basic principles and have led to many of today's problems, which make the pursuit of architectural sustainability a priority objective.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The figure of Frank Lloyd Wright in this context assumes great importance. His search for balance and harmony with nature inspired a new architecture. which made him the precursor of that first generation of heroic architects, the fathers of modern architecture, whose impact has not yet been surpassed. He was the precursor of the concept of architectural space and demonstrated that universal principles derived from human nature itself were all that was needed to produce the innovative architecture called for by the new century.

This American architect, born in Wisconsin in 1869, applied the principles of sustainability to his architecture with great ease and spontaneity. He did not make reference to them explicitly but rather inescapably, as a result of his training combined with his parents' work ethic and the years he spent on his uncle's farm in an unspoiled natural environment. He was educated in the classics of literature and music while witnessing an industrial revolution in full swing. His rich imagination merged these factors to direct his work toward a quest for balance among people, their ability to bring about change, and their natural environment.

Frank Lloyd Wright explained the principles behind his architecture in the periodicals Architectural Record and Ladies Home Journal. It was there that he expressed his ideas: The closer man associates with nature the greater his material and spiritual well-being. This notion of sustainability, although the term was not used, was an ideological principle underlying his architecture, from the first sketch to the finished work. He also said that everything without a real use or function should be avoided and that all visible elements, though integrated, should retain their original character. He was in favor of as many houses as there are people and was distrustful of an industrial cookie-cutter approach and of widespread mass-produced tract housing. Anonymous and impersonal production would result in architecture that created a chasm between itself and the natural environment.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

This masterful blending in his architecture of the most innovative use of new materials and building technology and the permanence of people's transcendental, cultural values and their natural environment helped create the rich, innovative personality that made him a pioneer of a balanced architecture rooted in the natural environment or, in other words, what we know today as sustainable architecture. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Frank Lloyd Wright: A Precursor of Sustainable Architecture
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.