the world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

i

All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.

i

Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. Frank Lloyd Wright's Early Blueprints of the Guggenheim Reveal Design Ideas That Didn't Make It

Frank Lloyd Wright's Early Blueprints of the Guggenheim Reveal Design Ideas That Didn't Make It

Frank Lloyd Wright's Early Blueprints of the Guggenheim Reveal Design Ideas That Didn't Make It
Frank Lloyd Wright's Early Blueprints of the Guggenheim Reveal Design Ideas That Didn't Make It, 1953 section of the proposed Guggenheim Museum design. Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved.
1953 section of the proposed Guggenheim Museum design. Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved.

In a recent blog post from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, curator Ashley Mendelsohn explores unrealized design details from Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic design in New York City, based on blueprints and drawings from the museum’s archives. From large-scale questions of form to material choices, the 16-year period between the commission and the completion of the museum saw many design iterations. Most notable of these are the circulation paths drawn by Wright in the 1953 blueprints that include a steeper circular ramp—in addition to the "Grand Ramp"—that would allow for expedited access to the floors. Though replaced later with a triangular staircase, the "Quick Ramp" demonstrates Wright’s exploration of overlapping geometries.

Detail of the 1953 plan of the Guggenheim Museum that shows the proposed "quick ramp". Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved. Detail of the 1953 section of the Guggenheim Museum showing the proposed "quick ramp". Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved. 1953 plan of the proposed Guggenheim Museum design. Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved. The 1945 model of the Guggenheim, before the design was extended to 89th street. Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved. + 6

Detail of the 1953 plan of the Guggenheim Museum that shows the proposed "quick ramp". Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved.
Detail of the 1953 plan of the Guggenheim Museum that shows the proposed "quick ramp". Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved.
Index of Surface Finishes from the 1953 blueprints of the Guggenheim Museum. Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved.
Index of Surface Finishes from the 1953 blueprints of the Guggenheim Museum. Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved.

Wright’s "Index of Surface Finishes" drawing shows another study the building went through during the design process. As Mendehlson explains, “Wright did not initially plan for the exclusive use of terrazzo flooring. Both the Grand and Quick ramps were designated 'CF' for cork flooring. Only the rotunda floor is labeled with the 'TF' for terrazzo. It’s unsurprising that cork was eventually ruled out, as it would have been both expensive and difficult to maintain. Be that as it may, this early material specification speaks to Wright’s vision of the museum as a social space; cork flooring would have absorbed sound, ensuring an entirely different acoustic quality in the rotunda.” The collection also features photographs of the physical model made in 1945 to help the public visualize the unconventional design. Though the dome pattern has since changed, the model is strong in its use of section to convey Wright’s vision of connectivity and light that remains today.

Detail of the 1953 section of the Guggenheim Museum showing the proposed "quick ramp". Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved.
Detail of the 1953 section of the Guggenheim Museum showing the proposed "quick ramp". Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved.
The 1945 model of the Guggenheim, before the design was extended to 89th street. Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved.
The 1945 model of the Guggenheim, before the design was extended to 89th street. Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved.

To learn more about the Guggenheim’s design history, and the decisions that led to the building that now stands, read the original article by Ashley Mendelsohn on the Guggenheim blog here.

View the complete gallery

About this author
Annalise Zorn
Author
Cite: Annalise Zorn. "Frank Lloyd Wright's Early Blueprints of the Guggenheim Reveal Design Ideas That Didn't Make It" 10 Jun 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/873259/frank-lloyd-wrights-early-blueprints-of-the-guggenheim-reveal-design-ideas-that-didnt-make-it/> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments
1953 section of the proposed Guggenheim Museum design. Image © 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ. All rights reserved.

古根海姆博物馆早期蓝图大公开!对比实际建筑不一样的地方在哪里?