ILMA of the Week: Frank L. Wright

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Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American Architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 532 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by his design for Fallingwater (1935) featured in the photo above, which has been called “the best all-time work of American Architecture“. Wright was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture and developed the concept of the Usonian home, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States.

Wright’s portfolio includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass. Wright authored 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. His colorful personal life often made headlines, most notably for the 1914 fire and murders at his Taliesin studio. Already well known during his lifetime, Wright was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time.”

Wright’s most famous private residences —Fallingwater— was built from 1934 to 1937 for Mr. and Mrs. Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr., at Mill Run, Pennsylvania, not too far from Pittsburgh. It was designed according to Wright’s desire to place the occupants close to the natural surroundings, with a stream and waterfall running under part of the building. Wright wanted the new residences to live with the waterfalls, to make them part of their everyday lives. He didn’t want them to just look at them every now and again. Constructed over a 30-foot waterfall, the house may look very big on the outside but on the inside it is quite small, which surprises some visitors. It was made with three bedrooms, a massive living room and a dining room. The house was more of a design for a family getaway not for a live-in family. The construction is a series of cantilevered balconies and terraces, using limestone for all verticals and concrete for the horizontals. The house cost $155,000, including the architect’s fee of $8,000. It was one of Wright’s most expensive pieces. Kaufmann’s own engineers argued that the design was not sound. They were overruled by Wright, but the contractor secretly added extra steel to the horizontal concrete elements. In 1994, Robert Silman and Associates examined the building and developed a plan to restore the structure. In the late 1990s, steel supports were added under the lowest cantilever until a detailed structural analysis could be done. In March 2002, post-tensioning of the lowest terrace was completed.

The iconic “Guggenheim Museum” (also featured in the photo above) is located in New York City. This project kept Wright occupied for 16 years (1943–1959) and is probably his most recognized masterpiece. The building rises as a warm beige spiral from its site on Fifth Avenue; its interior is similar to the inside of a seashell. Its unique central geometry was meant to allow visitors to easily experience Guggenheim’s collection of nonobjective geometric paintings by taking an elevator to the top level and then viewing artworks by walking down the slowly descending, central spiral ramp, the floor of which is embedded with circular shapes and triangular light fixtures to complement the geometric nature of the structure. However, when the museum was completed, a number of details of Wright’s design were ignored, such as his desire for the interior to be painted off-white. Further, the Museum currently designs exhibits to be viewed by walking up the curved walkway rather than walking down from the top level.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
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e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
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Green Glass at Corning Museum

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The New York City practice Thomas Phifer and Partners have unveiled their design for the new 100,000 square foot North Wing expansion at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. The state of the art, “energy smart” building will provide the ideal interior environment for preserving the Museum’s unparalleled collection of glass art through natural lighting, an intelligent building envelope and sophisticated temperature and air quality controls. The $64 million North Wing is scheduled for completion in 2014.

Included in the expansion will be a 26,000 square feet of gallery space. This is the largest space anywhere dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art in glass.

Environmentally Sustainable Design Elements:

  • Insulated double glazed windows with high performance, low-E coating to reduce heat gain
  • Daytime illumination provided by natural light
  • Daylight harvesting system
  • Carbon dioxide monitors control volume of outside air intake
  • Enthalpy wheel recovers heat from building exhaust
  • VAV controls track occupancy and system performance to reduce energy consumption
  • Water economizer uses cooling towers instead of chillers to produce cooling in winter for pumps
  • Multiple valves on cooling coils reduce energy required for dehumidification
  • Commissioning of building systems maximizes equipment efficiency
  • Facility personnel training improves long-term maintenance and operation
  • Design of storm water retention reduces run-off and erosion
  • Site lighting is designed to meet Dark Sky standards

Click here to read more about this exciting project!

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We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post.  We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (often referred to as “The Guggenheim”) is a well-known museum located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York CityUnited States. It is the permanent home to a renowned collection ofImpressionistPost-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions throughout the year. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it is one of the 20th century’s most important architectural landmarks.[citation needed]

The museum opened on October 21, 1959, and was the second museum opened by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; from 2005 to 2008 it underwent an extensive renovation.

The building has become a cultural icon and can be seen widely throughout popular culture. It is featured in Matthew Barney‘s The Cremaster CycleBye Bye BirdieMen in Black,When in RomeDowntown 81,Ugly Betty and prominently in The International, where a major shootout occurs in the museum. (In fact, a life-size replica of the museum was built for this scene.)

In the film, ManhattanWoody Allen meets Diane Keaton at the museum. In Someone to Watch Over Me there’s a scene in the museum where the killer confronts the woman who witnessed him murdering her friend. Mr. Popper’s Penguins has a scene where the penguins surf on ice water spilled on the floor, during a social event being held in the museum. The New Yorker has included the museum multiple times on its cover and cartoons.


Archaeology Museum of Álava

Written by David Cohn

Francisco “Patxi” Mangado, the 54-year-old Spanish architect, compares his bronze-clad Archaeological Museum of Álava in Vitoria, Spain, to a “coffer guarding a treasure.” He has developed this apparently simple conceit at a number of different levels in the work, so that it acquires a sensual resonance that reaches beyond words to convey his poetic intent.

Image courtesy Mangado and Associates

Photo © Roland Halbe

The architect uses the contrast between the building’s bronze and glass skin and its setting within Vitoria’s medieval core to further develop his evocation of archaeological layering. A quiet city of 230,000, Vitoria is the capital of the Basque region, with a rich history dating back to the sixth century AD. The museum, a mixed concrete-and-steel-frame structure, is part of an ongoing effort by local authorities to rehabilitate the medieval center, which has been in decline through most of the 20th century. Located on one of its livelier streets lined with bars, old shops, and a few monumental buildings, the museum adjoins the 16th-century Bendaña Palace. In 1994 the palace was renovated to house the Fournier Museum of Playing Cards as the town’s homage to a well-known local industry. The two museums now share a common entry court.

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Gertler & Wente’s Design for WTC Site

Sketch by Gertler & Wente

written by Molly Heintz

On September 11 all eyes will be on the World Trade Center site, where the 9/11 Memorial and Museum will open with ceremonies commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City. In addition to a subterranean museum and memorial space, the much-anticipated complex includes an aboveground museum pavilion and a landscaped plaza with reflecting pools in the footprints of the Twin Towers.  However, due to extensive crowd control and security concerns, visitors who make a spontaneous trip to the site may find themselves not standing in these new public spaces but stuck at the site’s perimeter looking at photographs of them stretched across a chain-link construction fence instead.

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Afternoon at the American Museum of Natural History