A Forgotten Wright Masterpiece Is Finally Getting Its Due
Architectural Digest features an article about an interesting piece of Frank Lloyd Wright history.
"By the mid-1930s, Frank Lloyd Wright—amid architectural circles anyway—was considered a bit of a has-been. The popularity of Prairie-style buildings, the style Wright helped pioneer and perfect, was at the nadir of its popularity and the architect was emerging from more than a decade’s worth of personal catastrophe and scandals. As far as the wider world was concerned, Wright was washed up and retired,” says Christopher Wilk, keeper of furniture, fashion, and textiles at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A).
But in 1935, Wright hit a stroke of luck. Pittsburgh-area businessman Edgar J. Kaufmann tapped Wright to design a private office for his sprawling department store as well as his family’s weekend retreat in nearby Mill Run, Pennsylvania. The Kaufmann office would become a room-size case study for Wright’s design values, featuring geometric panels crafted from humble cypress plywood, sculptural furnishings of the architect’s own design, and textiles by Loja Saarinen. Unfortunately, far surpassed in publicity by Wright's other Kaufmann commission, this exquisite office would drift into obscurity.
In 1957—two decades after its installation at the department store, and two years after Kaufmann’s death—his son relocated the office to the headquarters of the family’s private foundation in Pittsburgh. In 1963 the room’s components were placed into storage until the family gifted it to the V&A in 1974. Save for a tour of Japan in the 1990s, the office has remained largely out of the public eye since 2005.
Now, however, the interior will finally receive its due. After undergoing a meticulous restoration, it will become a highlight of the V&A East, the institution’s new Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed museum facility in east London. When it is revealed to the public in 2023 as a freestanding room within a room, visitors will be able to walk around and inside it, appreciating its beauty, craft, and engineering from all angles. Read the entire article and see the photos here.
Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Classroom Launches Online For K-12 Students
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will launch a free online learning tool for K-12 students this week with the introduction of the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Classroom, a resource center developed by the Foundation’s education department for online learning and virtual engagement for families.
Combining fun, real-world lessons with Wright’s famed principles of organic architecture and solutions-based design, each STEAM-focused lesson will offer students its own variation of hands-on activities that encourage them to think critically and creatively. The six-week series will introduce a new lesson and corresponding video weekly, where one activity builds upon the other to culminate into a final project where the student creates a work of art that resembles stained glass, inspired by Wright’s own designs.
The Foundation’s education team has developed the lessons to be easy and turn-key in that parents can simply turn on the video and have the student watch, learn, and complete the activity on his or her own while the parent works or tends to household duties. Parents can also get in on the fun and make the activity a family project. For more information click here.
John Lautner’s 1940s Hillside Residence On Sale For $1.6M
Commanding a prominent hillside site in Silver Lake, California, the John Lautner’s Hillside Residence was realized by the American architect between 1939 and 1940. Marking his first project after having worked with Frank Lloyd Wright, the 1,244 square foot building embodies elements of organic architecture that was made popular by his architectural mentor.
Now on the national register of historic places, the Lautner residence was designed as his own dwelling. Now the house can be yours for a cool $1,590,000. designboom gives us wonderful photos featuring this beautiful home. See them here.
Enjoy "Newspaper Architecture" From The New York Times
In this article from The Whirling Arrow, we can enjoy a month’s worth of drawings, updated daily during April 2020, featuring iconic architecture reinterpreted as “newspaper buildings” in this series by illustrator Ben Denzer taken from page 3 of the New York Times. Each of the chosen buildings are cleverly represented by a "folded newspaper" theme. See the most recent illustrations here.
Take a Virtual Tour of Wright's Oak Park Studio
At his Oak Park Studio (1898-1909), Frank Lloyd Wright developed a uniquely American form of architecture, heading a movement later referred to as the "Prairie School." Major buildings of Wright's Prairie Era, including the Larkin Administration Building, Unity Temple, and the Frederick C. Robie House, were all designed at this site. Now you can virtually explore Wright's Oak Park original "architectural laboratory" on this virtual tour with Frank Lloyd Wright Trust curator David Bagnall. Watch it here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust in Chicago and Oak Park, IL, like many small businesses and non-profits, is in a precarious position due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn how you can help us stabilize operations and recover from this crisis here.
Wright Plus Housewalk Now Scheduled For September 12, 2020
Join The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust for the spectacular Wright Plus Architectural Housewalk that will now take place on Saturday, September 12, 2020. Tour the interiors of eight private residences and two landmark buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries. For one day only, homeowners invite guests into the private living spaces of their magnificently restored homes, re-imagined for today’s lifestyles. Guides will be on hand to enhance the tours with details about the history and the beautiful architectural elements that give each home its unique character. Get more details and tickets here.
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