Only weeks after the board that oversees the operation of the School of Architecture at Taliesin (SoAT) had said the school would close later this year—and after much public outcry and social media unrest—it voted last Thursday to reverse that decision and is seeking to keep the school operating.
In late January, the board announced the school would close at the end of the current semester in June after reaching a stalemate with the foundation over whether to renew the memorandum of understanding, which in effect is a lease agreement, to keep the school operating. SoAT is a separate independent entity from the foundation.
Dan Schweiker, board of governors chairman for the school, said Thursday since the "horrible" decision was reached to close the school, there was an outpouring of support from students, alumni, and other concerned parties. An online petition set up by students on Change.org was close to getting 10,000 signatures of support as of Thursday evening.
More important, said outgoing SoAT President Aaron Betsky, several different parties have come forward to commit financial resources to help bolster the school's finances and allow it to continue to operate.
School officials said it will still be up to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to decide if the school would remain open. It currently has 25 students enrolled. Read more about this rapidly shifting story here.
Winston Churchill, as he was addressing the English Architectural Association in 1924, said, “There is no doubt whatever about the influence of architecture and structure upon human character and action. We make our buildings and afterwards they make us. They regulate the course of our lives.”
The term ‘organic architecture’ has been in use for quite some time, brought to the public’s attention largely by Frank Lloyd Wright and his spectacular works. It refers to a particular way of designing that strives to balance a space’s or building’s function and its environment, follow natural forms, and seamlessly merge buildings with their surroundings.
The style isn’t limited to playing with shapes. Organic architecture often uses local materials for the building itself and furnishings, and works to include the exterior area in the design process to create a unified whole. Like an organism, such structures are meant to take materials from their environment, grow in it, and finally become a part of it. In this article, Alexandru Micu shares Frank Lloyd Wright's principals, and gives us examples of "organic" architecture. Read the article and see the photos here.
On Tuesday, March 3, author and Wright scholar William Allin Storrer presented a lecture in Hattiesburg, MS sponsored by the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Construction and Design.
“Storrer is the preeminent cataloger of Frank Lloyd Wright’s built work,” said James Ray Polk, a visiting architecture and design instructor at USM. He noted that Storrer’s first published catalog was compiled in 1974. That book is currently in its fourth edition and is still the definitive collection.
Entitled “The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog,” each page gives an explanation of one of the buildings. It was no easy task as Wright designed more than 1,000 buildings. The book specifically concentrates on “built work,” meaning structures that were actually constructed, and there are more than 500 of those. More information here.
A three-day advanced photography workshop with landscape and architectural photographer, Andrew Pielage, will guide you in capturing the light and lines of Unity Temple as well as two private Wright residences in Oak Park: the Hills-DeCaro and William Martin houses. The course will apply creative approaches to composition, image framing and the challenges of light and shadow in these unique and exclusive properties. Participants must provide their own camera, tripod and computer, and it is strongly recommended to have a basic understanding of aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
Workshop begins on Friday, May 29 at 4pm and concludes Sunday, May 31 at noon. Registration is $450 per person and includes meals. A detailed schedule will be provided prior to arrival. No refunds after April 21. No refunds for weather – workshop goes on rain or shine! REGISTRATION IS LIMITED. More info here.
In season three of Samantha Brown’s "Places to Love," host Samantha Brown visited Phoenix, Arizona and stopped by Taliesin West. She spoke with Fred Prozzillo, Foundation Vice President of Preservation, to learn more about the rich history of Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and desert camp. Watch the episode here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's Whirling Arrow blog recently shared a recent article by AFAR Deputy Editor Jennifer Flowers, who shares a personal firsthand account of her visit to Taliesin West and the Sonoran Desert. Read more here.
The Kalo Foundation in Park Ridge, IL will host a lecture titled "Bruce Goff: Architect, Composer, Painter" by educator, author, and architect Sidney Robinson on Sunday March 29th, 2020 at 1:00pm.
Bruce Goff (1904-1982) is an outstanding example of an American auto-didact. His curiosity and creativity led him to a career that designed buildings, composed piano pieces, and made paintings. He came to Park Ridge to work, briefly with Alfonso Iannelli in 1934. He designed a Park Ridge landmark, the Helen Unseth house, with a its triangular footprint and high angled windows. His imaginative use of materials and geometry places him in the company of American “organic” architects including Frank Lloyd Wright. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP and follow the link for more info about the Kalo Foundation.
The World Heritage Committee officially inscribed The 20th Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, comprised of eight major works, including Unity Temple, in Oak Park. The Village of Oak Park and the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation are partnering to celebrate this monumental occasion with an event on April 3, 5:30-7pm. The evening includes the plaque unveiling, presentations by area leaders, building tours, and a reception. Open to the public, donations are much appreciated and accepted at the door. More info here.