Frank Lloyd Wright – Oak Park

While in Chicago I visited the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Chicago’s Oak Park neighborhood.  This was Wright’s first home and studio; the birthplace of an ‘architectural revolution’.  Wright built this home (for his wife and six children) in 1889 to explore design concepts that contained the beginning of his architectural philosophy.  In 1898 Wright added his studio on to this home and it was here that he developed a new American architecture – the Prairie style.  In 1889 Wright purchased a vacant lot in a neighborhood where the other homes were all Victorian in design.  As I stood outside looking at this home I could only imagine the controversy that this house created as it was so contrasting different from all the other homes around it.  What would the neighbors have thought?!  There must have been an outcry at this ‘unusual’ looking building.  This was after all the 1800’s.  The home’s exterior is dark and severe looking.  But on the inside the home is roomy with space that is well used and very bright.  Frank Lloyd Wright captured sunlight and nature in his home with windows that were strategically placed and skylights.  Wright actually built a living, growing tree that was on the lot into the home’s interior.  It is a common misperception the Frank Lloyd Wright’s home are minimalistic, but in fact there is a high attention to detail in them which was prevalent with Oak Park.  And as Frank Lloyd Wright once said “A building is not just a place to be. It is a way to be.”
 
           Neighbour to Frank Lloyd Wright Oak Park Home – 1898

                                                      

    Frank Lloyd Wright Oak Park Home & Studio – 1898    

  

                                               
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