This meticulous compilation from Taschen's previous three-volume monograph assembles the most important works from Wright's extensive oeuvre into one overview of America's most famous architect. Based on unlimited access to the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives in Taliesin, Arizona, the collection spans the length and breadth of Wright's projects, both realized and unrealized, from his early Prairie Houses, through the Usonian concept home, epitomized by Fallingwater, the Tokyo years, his progressive "living architecture" buildings, right through to later schemes like the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and fantastic visions for a better tomorrow in the "living city." Author Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, who served as Wright's apprentice during the 1950s, discusses recent research on Wright and gives his own insights on these game-changing buildings
He was the first architect to take the location of the building into consideration while he designed it. Wright not only designed the house, but he also mandated what kind of furniture should be in it and then realized that mandate by designing it. He would have been comfortable in a loft since his houses were very often built in such a way that the walls created all the separation needed. Living rooms merged with bedrooms, and dining rooms segued into living rooms.
When we look through his designs (both those that were built and those for which the engineering has not yet caught up), we see motifs and construction details that are now common, but did not exist before Wright picked up his pen. And let us also remember that, when a great earthquake destroyed practically every building in Japan in the early 1920s, his hotel remained standing. This is an amazing feat given that research into making buildings resistant to moving earth did not begin until 30 years after the architect died.
I live in Madison, Wisconsin, less than 40 miles from where he spent his childhood and to which he returned as a husband and father. He lost his family near here, but changed that grief into new designs. He legacy still lives in the first Usonian church ever created -- a place that makes one feel tiny in contrast to the god worshiped there. And many other buildings, designed by his followers and students dot the city.
This book doesn't look at all of Wright's designs, only at those which the author considers to be Wright's masterworks.But it took 300 pages to cover this small number of his designs. Paging through it, looking at the beauty he created, can refresh one's head and soul.