Originally made 70 years ago and out of production years, Italian manufacturer Cassina SpA has re-released the "origami chair" in a limited edition for the eye popping cost of $5,500. Like the original, it’s made almost entirely from one piece of beech plywood with a cherry wood veneer and folds like origami into an elegant seat. The armchair comes in three options: midnight blue, petrol green, and burgundy. Only 150 pieces, in each color, are being made. Read more.
Lloyd Alter of treehugger ruminates on Taliesin West's unsuitability to air conditioning. Alter notes that Frank Lloyd Wright designed Taliesin West as a seasonal building, using it only in the winter months; designing it low to the ground and enclosed by heavy rubble walls with thermal mass, canvas roofs to keep out the sun, and careful siting to catch the breezes. It was never meant to be mechanically air conditioned and used year-round.
Frank Lloyd Wright never liked air conditioning. In 1954 he wrote in The Natural House: "To me air conditioning is a dangerous circumstance. The extreme changes in temperature that tear down a building also tear down the human body." He described how he built Taliesin West: "So, in a very hot climate, the way to deal with air conditioning best would be to have a thorough protection overhead and the rest of the building as open to the breezes as it possibly can be made. On the desert slopes at Taliesin West there is always a breeze." Read more.
Out of the 1,171 architectural designs that Frank Lloyd Wright created in his lifetime, around 660 of them remained unbuilt. Using advanced visualization techniques, architect David Romero brings Wright's unbuilt designs one step closer to reality in a series of striking, computer-generated renderings. A longtime Wright enthusiast, Romero has been creating renderings of the legendary architect's designs since he launched the website Hooked on the Past in 2014.
“While we will never know the true experience of visiting an unbuilt Wright design, these renderings can convey a bit more sense of space and light than the drawings alone,” says Stuart Graff, president and CEO of the Foundation. “As we wonder what might have been if these designs had been realized, Romero’s work gives us a sense of Wright’s innovative genius that we can continue to learn from and be inspired by.” Read more about what Romero has recreated from Wright's portfolio here.
Frank Lloyd Wright, but gothic. Plus puppets. That’s the distilled version of The Walls of Harrow House, an interactive theater piece from Rough House Theater in Chicago. Part puppet-populated haunted house, part rumination on design and the role of the architect, Harrow House takes the orderly elements for which Wright was famous and subjects them to anarchy, with deeply unsettling results. More here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation collections are stored and displayed at both Taliesin and Taliesin West, consisting of thousands of objects, artifacts, and materials—including Wright-designed furniture and decorative objects, his Asian art collections, textiles, ceramics, Oriental rugs, historic building parts, Native American pottery and baskets, 41,000 volumes of architecture/design books and journals, and musical instruments.
For October 2018 Arizona Archives Month, they shared an item from the collections each Friday. Here you’ll find a recap of the posts, as well as information about each item.
A Grand Junction, Colorado property is being featured in the real estate section of the New York Times. The house on Round Hill was designed by Fritz Benedict, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright.
The home, built in 1959, has floor to ceiling windows, and sits on about one acre in a private area in the north part of Grand Junction. The property is one of a handful that will be featured in the real estate section of the national newspaper, alongside properties in Virginia and Connecticut. More here.
Urban Milwaukee has a detailed account of Frank Lloyd Wright's American System-Built homes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Wright once said, “I would rather solve the small house problem than build anything else I can think of.” The 960 drawings he did for some 30 models of the American System-Built homes is the largest entry in his archive, attesting to his interest in providing what we would today call affordable housing. Around 1911 he partnered with Arthur L. Richards of Milwaukee to create a pilot program of model houses, which could be marketed to building contractors around the country and the world. In 1915-16, six were built on what had been a celery farm in the 2700 block of what is now W. Burnham St.
As the homes’ 1985 nomination for inclusion in The National Register of Historic Places notes: "The American System-Built Home models were a radical concept when built and continue to be so today when contrasted with the surrounding modest Milwaukee bungaloid elements of the neighborhood."
Michael Horne writes, "The first sign that there is something unusual to come when entering the neighborhood is in white letters on a brown background, reading “Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Buildings American Systems Built Homes.” As one passes through the bungaloid surroundings, the rhythm of these buildings is arresting, as are their immaculate proportions and unfussy detailing. Note how the homes float on their foundations, with the regular interruption of the basement windows giving the element a toothy appearance. This is Wright on target. Here, on small lots of about 2,800-square feet, the homes with their regular setbacks and three-foot-by-three-foot modular designs, provide a cubist relief to their more conventional, and mostly banal, neighbors."
Today the home is owned by the Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin Heritage Tourism Program, Inc., a Madison-based organization dedicated to the architect’s legacy. Model “B’ is open to the public for tours, and is an especially popular destination at the annual Doors Open. The tours last about 45 minutes and are led by trained docents. Other homes are in varying states of occupancy and restoration. More information here.