Wes Anderson's "Isle of Dogs" Film Sets Influenced by Wright's Imperial Hotel
The architecture of Wes Anderson's new film Isle of Dogs takes its cues from the work of Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, says production designer Paul Harrod. Harrod worked with film director Anderson on the new stop-motion animation, which is about to hit cinemas worldwide. He told Dezeen that he studied Tange, as well as other examples of Japan's future-focused metabolist architecture movement, to create the film's sets.
Another source of inspiration was the Japanese architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Brick Mansion, the home of the villainous mayor of Megasaki, was modelled on the now-demolished Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, designed by Wright in 1923.
"We used the Imperial Hotel as the model for Mayor Kobayashi's residence, the Brick Mansion. We liked how it represented a fusion of traditional Japanese architecture with 20th-century modernism," Harrod told Dezeen.
"I think Frank Lloyd Wright has always been appealing to production designers because of his use of strong horizontal lines and layers are well served by a wide-aspect ratio, but we actually went a bit more vertical with it to give it a more looming presence," he added. Read more.
Screenings & Lectures: Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Beginning April 8th and starting with a double feature (With "Romanza") in Valdosta, GA, there will be multiple screenings of filmmaker Michael Miner's "Masterpieces- the Most Extraordinary Buildings Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright." See a listing of the dates and times, and watch the trailer here.
Where Does Wright’s Genius Come From?
Frank Lloyd Wright’s genius is often perceived as an innate, immutable quality outside the influence of others. However, historians have recently begun to examine famous men’s relationships to others more deeply. This redefinition of history focuses less on innate talent, but instead on the emotional support, inspiration, and labor provided by those closest to them. And that redefinition argues had it not been for their relationships, these men would likely never have succeeded in honing and implementing their craft.
Much of this work has focused on women, whose close relationships to famous men are often hidden in plain sight. Historians have sought to more fully understand the active roles of these women in men’s lives. Wright is no exception. His work was largely supported by his fellow architects, designers, and artisans, over 100 of whom were women; his familial and often romantic relationships with women; and his female patrons. Read more.
Frank Lloyd Wright Event Sells Out Early
The Allen Memorial Art Museum is allowing architecture and design buffs into the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Weltzheimer/Johnson House in Oberlin, just a short drive from Toledo, Ohio. Nearly 10,000 reported being "interested" in the open house on April 8th...which is the problem. That event is now sold out. The Museum says there are additional open houses that will be held on the first Sunday of each month through November. Read more.
Kentuck Knob Open for Tours, Seasonal Dinners
Kentuck Knob, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is once again open for tours for the season. Built as a private home for the Hagan family of Uniontown, the National Historic Landmark in Chalk Hill, Fayette County, gives an excellent example of Wright's Usonian architecture.
Several tour options are available on the home's website. Through October, hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Wednesdays, which are noon to 5 p.m.
The rustic setting will again offer several farm to table dinners this summer, with partners creating seasonal menus featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Dinners can be preceded by an optional house walkthrough. This year's dates are May 27, June 30, July 28 and Aug. 26. Read more.
Toshiko Mori Challenges Strong Men Through Her Architecture
Toshiko Mori has designed projects as wide-ranging as a visitor center adjacent to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House in Buffalo and additions to houses by Paul Rudolph and Marcel Breuer. What may be intimidating challenges to some are invigorating to her. ”I like challenging strong men," she has said of her architecture. "I'm respectful but not subservient.”
The Tokyo architect Kazuo Shinohara advised her to practice in the United States, where he said she would enjoy more freedom as a woman. She adds: “I chose to stay and live in the U.S. because of the equal opportunity it provides and the values it represents of freedom and respect for human rights.” Read more about this remarkable architect here.
Wrightian Lighting Used in Yellowstone’s Canyon Village
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park’s Canyon Village, the largest accommodation complex in the park, were pleasantly surprised last summer with brand-new accommodations. The stately, welcoming new lodges were the result of a two-phase, three-year transformation of the 410 obsolete cabin-style units, originally constructed in 1957, into five modern, multi-story stone and wood structures (with an equal number of units) built in the grand lodge tradition of the National Park Service.
Architect Robert Reamer, known as the “Frank Lloyd Wright of Yellowstone,” was renowned for his 1904 design of the Old Faithful Inn, and was contracted to design the original Canyon Hotel buildings in 1910. His design, considered an impressive and prominent example of Prairie style architecture, featured elegant interiors and architecture with long horizontal lines that hugged the hills above the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, mimicking a natural outcropping.
The hotel complex, a sprawling Yellowstone resort that spanned a full mile in perimeter, ultimately was condemned and abandoned in 1958. As fate would have it, however, it was destroyed in an early morning fire on Aug. 8, 1960, after years of decline, debate and drawn-out demolition due to an unsound foundation. Somehow the lighting fixtures were salvaged and installed at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Blair Residence in Cody, Wyoming, giving the stained glass pieces new life. Their salvage also created a living reference for AE Design’s new custom fixtures, which were designed to pay homage to the original Canyon Hotel built in Yellowstone Park more than 50 years before.
AE Design’s elegant, yet simple, lighting design pays tribute to Prairie style lighting, but utilizes current technology, techniques and materials to achieve a timeless, modern impact. Read more.
Classmates of 1963 Step Up to Help Spring House at Reunion
"Spring House" was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1952 and built in 1954. In 2017, Carolyn Counts Furcolow attended a personal tour of the home with the "Tallahassee Lassies", a Red Hat Society Chapter in Tallahassee. The two docents that day were Clifton Byrd Lewis Mashburn and Dee Taggert Bevis. They are both high school classmates of Carolyn’s. The house was also the childhood home of their classmate Clifton Byrd Lewis Mashburn. Mashburn is part of Spring House Institute, the group that is currently organizing efforts to restore the house to its former glory.
Furcolow has a special interest in Frank Lloyd Wright and has visited many of his other works. She knows that to have a Frank Lloyd Wright building in your hometown is often not common, especially in Florida. After her tour, she wanted to do more to help Spring House Institute’s efforts to save the house for public and private uses and as the home of Spring House Institute. As a result, the Leon High School Class of 1963 celebrated its 55th Reunion on the weekend of March 23 and 24 with a special tour of the Usonian home, among other activities. The Leon High School Class of 1963 donated to this effort and the hope is that other schools and classes will join in the effort to save this important piece of history, architecture and art. Read more.
Farm Dinners and Tours at Taliesin
Spread across 800 acres, the Taliesin Estate in Wisconsin includes several unique Wright-designed buildings, many of which are included in tours. Among them: The Highlights Tour ($58) explores two buildings, Taliesin (Wright's home) and Hillside, a schoolhouse. The House Tour ($54) focuses on Taliesin. The Estate Tour ($90) is a four-hour experience that includes the above, plus Tan-y-Deri, the home Wright built for his sisters, and a walk across the grounds.
There are limited tickets available for a Cultivate Cuisine dinner served in Frank Lloyd Wright's studio on April 21 from 6-9 p.m., which will feature a seven-course meal prepared by Madison, Wis., chef Rob Grisham of Isthmus Dining Co.
Taliesin Preservation will also host two farm dinners this summer, July 8 and Aug. 26. The four-course meals will include vegetables sourced from the farm at Taliesin and will be served outdoors on the grounds of Taliesin. Chefs will be announced later. The dinners will go from 5-8 p.m. and cost $125. Tickets are not yet available. Read more.
Taste and Autobiography
In “Taste and Autobiography,” Frank Lloyd Wright explains why he wrote “An Autobiography.” The Whirling Arrow has an introduction and excerpt taken from "Frank Lloyd Wright Collected Writings, Vol. III," edited by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer.
This brief article is in the nature of an apologia by Wright, who explains why he wrote his autobiography (New York: Longmans Green, 1932). Perhaps this was written in response to a particular criticism of the book. Yet, for the most part, the critics praised the work for its candor and his struggle to develop an architecture more in keeping with the precepts of a democratic faith in the United States. [Published in "The Chicagoan," April 1932] Read more.
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