Frank Lloyd Wright was a prolific architect. In addition to the many residences for which he conceived the plans, and upon which his legacy is based, he also designed theaters, churches of many denominations, service stations, libraries, corporate offices and museums. Wright was also responsible for the layout of shopping centers and even an entire city. His work is found mostly in the United States, but Canada, England and Japan are also locations of his creations.
Whatever the composition, Wright's designs always have well-intentioned function, close attention to detail, and the same classic form: clean, simple aesthetics juxtaposed with oftentimes complex construction methods. It is by these characteristics that he became defined as one of, if not the greatest, American architect in history.
The last two examples of Frank Wright's work I am including in this series, found below, are the Johnson Wax Headquarters in Racine, Wisc., and The Guggenheim Museum in New York City, N.Y.
Johnson Wax Headquarters
Like many of the structures Wright designed, the Johnson Wax Headquarters is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is also distinguished as a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Construction began in 1936, about the same time as Fallingwater, and was completed in 1939. The corporate office building features an Art Deco style, typical for the 1930s era. The Johnson Wax Headquarters consists of the "Great Workroom," an office space complete with graduated columns supporting large discs that resemble lily pads, and a research tower.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim shares the two distinctions mentioned of the Wax Headquarters above in addition to also being noted as a New York City landmark. The striking design of the art museum, mainly its cylindrical shape, no doubt contributes to its notable status in the city. The interior features a spiral ramp around its core with space therein for gallery exhibitions.
The Guggenheim Museum opened in October of 1959 to a debate over the design of the ramp and the display space, or lack of space as some critics believed, along the walkway. Others felt the building itself was a work of art and would distract from the collections it contained. Today, however, the New York City museum is largely considered one of the greatest achievements in architecture of the 20th-century.
Sadly, Frank Lloyd Wright never saw the museum open to the public as he died six months prior to its grand opening.
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