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Spotlight: Frank Lloyd Wright

06:00 - 8 June, 2018
Spotlight: Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater House. Image © Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Fallingwater House. Image © Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

In 1991, the American Institute of Architects called him, quite simply, “the greatest American architect of all time.” Over his lifetime, Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) completed more than 500 architectural works; many of them are considered masterpieces. Thanks to the wide dissemination of his designs and his many years spent teaching at the school he founded, few architects in history can claim to have inspired more young people into joining the architecture profession.

S.C. Johnson and Son Administration Building. Image © Jeff Dean Unity Temple. Image © Sean Marshall Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/57537089@N00/198494302/'>Flickr user gomattolson</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Taliesin West. Image © <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TaliesinWest2010.JPG'>Wikimedia user AndrewHorne</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a> + 25

No One is Born Modern: The Early Works of 20th Century Architecture Icons

08:00 - 6 June, 2018
No One is Born Modern: The Early Works of 20th Century Architecture Icons

In the ambit of architecture, much of the twentieth century is marked by a production that reads, in general, as modern. The foundations of this work have been the subject of discussion for at least six decades, bringing together conflicting opinions about the true intention behind the modern gestalt.

Winners Announced for 2018 Modernism in America Awards

12:00 - 1 May, 2018
Starship Chicago. Image © James Steinkamp
Starship Chicago. Image © James Steinkamp

Thirteen projects have been announced as winners of Docomomo US’ 2018 Modernism in America Awards, honoring projects within the United States that highlight and advocate for the restoration of postwar architecture and landscapes.

Now in its fifth year, the Modernism in America Awards were founded to celebrate "the people and projects working to preserve, restore and rehabilitate our modern heritage sensitively and productively. The program seeks to advance those preservation efforts; to increase appreciation for the period and to raise awareness of the on-going threats against modern architecture and design."

Below, we have rounded up the successful schemes, and an organizer’s description of their significance.

Starship Chicago. Image © James Steinkamp Tom Little: Georgia Advocacy. Image © Tom Little Hill College House Renovation. Image © Aislinn Weidele Lenox Health Greenwich Village. Image © Chris Cooper, Courtesy Perkins Eastman + 15

MIT Press to Make Landmark Architecture Books Freely Accessible Online

16:00 - 30 April, 2018
A selection of out-of-print books are soon to be made available by MIT Press. Image © Niall Patrick Walsh
A selection of out-of-print books are soon to be made available by MIT Press. Image © Niall Patrick Walsh

The MIT Press, in collaboration with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is set to digitize landmark out-of-print architecture and urban studies books published by the MIT Press, making them freely accessible online for discovery and research. Aided by a $157,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MIT Press are enabled to digitize a collection of “image-rich and intellectually prized architecture and urban studies titles” complete with the commissioning of new forewords for the works. Following the project’s completion, MIT Press intends to distribute a minimum of 25 titles for free on several platforms, including its own ebook service.

Among the titles to be released are Francoise Choay’s “The Rule and the Model: On the Theory of Architecture and Urbanism,” which links modern theory with classical and Renaissance architecture, and John Templer’s “The Staircase,” regarded as the first theoretical and historical analysis of the elemental stair. Books on the subject of famous architects will also be released, such as Donald Leslie Johnson’s “Frank Lloyd Wright vs. America: The 1930s” and Grant Hildebrand’s “On Leon Battista Alberti: His Literary and Aesthetic Theories.”

The Best Music Videos for Architecture Fans in 2017

08:00 - 31 December, 2017
The Best Music Videos for Architecture Fans in 2017

The old adage "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" (it's stupid etc.), loses some of its impact when architecture becomes the backdrop for both music, and dancing. Ever since video killed the radio star, famous houses, quirky spaces, and history's great buildings have provided beautiful, unique and dramatic settings for music videos of all types. So which of 2017s music videos have capitalized on the wonderful world of architecture? 

Thespaces.com have compiled a list of the best music videos for architecture lovers for 2017. Here are a few of our favorites and a few additional videos we think deserve a mention.

These Modernist Birdhouses are Inspired by Famous Architects

06:00 - 28 December, 2017
These Modernist Birdhouses are Inspired by Famous Architects, via Sourgrassbuilt.com
via Sourgrassbuilt.com

Douglas Barnhard, the owner of the home decor company Sourgrassbuilt, designs and builds birdhouses. Built out of repurposed materials, his designs are inspired by mid-century modernism and pay homage to the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Joseph Eichler and the Bauhaus School in Germany yet mix with Barnhard's experience of the rich surf and skate scene in Santa Cruz.

Stay in a Recently Restored Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian Home, the Eppstein House

11:45 - 22 December, 2017
Stay in a Recently Restored Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian Home, the Eppstein House, Courtesy of The Eppstein House
Courtesy of The Eppstein House

Ever wanted to spend the night in a classic Frank Lloyd Wright house? Here’s your chance.

The Eppstein House, one of Wright’s Usonian designs built in 1953, has been restored to its original beauty by owners Marika Broere and Tony Hillebrandt and is now accepting visitors for a limited time through Airbnb. Located in Galesburg, Michigan, the house was originally designed as part of a planned Usonian community intended to contain 21 homes, though just four ended up being built.

Courtesy of The Eppstein House via Airbnb via Airbnb via Airbnb + 18

Architectural Adventures: Detroit—Motor City’s Architectural Revival

15:44 - 16 November, 2017
Architectural Adventures: Detroit—Motor City’s Architectural Revival, WSU McGregor Memorial Conference Center | courtesy of Jeff Dunn
WSU McGregor Memorial Conference Center | courtesy of Jeff Dunn

For most of the 20th century, Detroit was our nation’s economic dynamo. This heritage is reflected in the treasure trove of outstanding historic homes, buildings, and factories that still define the cityscape. While Detroit has struggled into the 21st century, its role as a center for architectural innovation is undiminished. With stunning early 20th-century mansions, grand Art Deco skyscrapers, and surprising mid-century masterpieces, the Motor City has more to offer than most realize. Explore the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Lafayette Park, Eastern Market, private homes, and special projects by local preservation organizations. Learn about how Detroit is rebounding while experiencing the innovative and seminal works of great architects like Eliel Saarinen, Daniel Burnham, Cass Gilbert, John Burgee, Albert Kahn, Minoru Yamasaki, and Mies van der Rohe along the way.

From Cubicles to Hot-Desks, Here Are the Origins of the Open-Plan Office

10:15 - 12 October, 2017

Some love them, some loath them: open-plan office spaces are either conducive to conversation and collaboration or nothing more than noisy environments defined by distractions. Much, for instance, has been questioned recently about the "innovative" open working environments in Apple's new Cupertino campus. In a new series by Vox, overlooked, misrepresented, and overrated phenomena are put under the microscope. By exploring the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Herman Miller, and others, this episode posits that open office spaces are, contrary to popular assumption, "misunderstood for their role in workplace culture."

Where did open offices and cubicles come from, and are they really what we want?

Frank Lloyd Wright Upholds Egotist Reputation in Interview

08:00 - 9 October, 2017

Early on in my career I had to decide between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change.

Frank Lloyd Wright is the household name of architects in the United States, with stories of his ego as widespread as his prolific work. Watching Frank Lloyd Wright at 83 years old is not your typical history lesson. The interview aired on NBC Chicago in 1958 and captures Frank Lloyd Wright telling stories to Hugh Downs about his education, early career with Louis Sullivan, an inspiration for Taliesin and Taliesin West and his own innovations in architecture (let's just say this question didn't get a humble response).

Drawing Event Will Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

08:00 - 7 October, 2017
Drawing Event Will Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Courtesy of Flickr user: dbaron
Courtesy of Flickr user: dbaron

On October 15th  four languages, three countries, and three astounding architectural projects will be brought together through a series of events and workshops to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation seeks to commemorate the event with a full day program of activities entitled Drawing the Guggenheim. Visitors can explore and sketch the museums during a variety of public drawing exercises, architectural tours, films and family events at each of the Guggenheim locations.

Frank Lloyd Wright For Sale: New York Times Profiles 5 Wright Houses Currently on the Market

14:20 - 22 August, 2017

During the year of the 150th anniversary of his birth, Frank Lloyd Wright is having another glorious moment in the public consciousness. While many of Wright’s structures, including Fallingwater, the Guggenheim and Taliesin, are staples of the architectural canon, this renewed interest has given some of Wright’s other 380 remaining buildings the chance to step out into the sun.

Many of these other still-standing buildings are houses, and while some have been converted into museums, many remain on the market for prospective homebuyers with a knack for preservation – but not necessarily exorbitant wealth (according to the New York Times, the 1917 Prairie-style Meier House sold in 2013 for just $125,000). In total, 45 Wright properties have been sold in the last five years alone.

How Terrol Dew Johnson and Aranda\Lasch Are Reinventing Basket-Weaving Traditions to Sustain Native Culture and Community

18:00 - 17 August, 2017
How Terrol Dew Johnson and Aranda\Lasch Are Reinventing Basket-Weaving Traditions to Sustain Native Culture and Community, Courtesy of Aranda\Lasch
Courtesy of Aranda\Lasch

This article was originally published on the blog of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America. The 2017 Biennial, entitled Make New History, will be free and open to the public between September 16, 2017 and January 6, 2018.

Form follows function—that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.

Frank Lloyd Wright may have famously said these words in 1908, but he was by no means the first to embody them. In fact, the deeper sense of unity that Wright sought in Modern architecture had existed centuries before his time as a guiding principle for Native peoples all over the world.

Grass Coil by Terrol Dew Johnson and Aranda\Lasch, 2016. Image Courtesy of Aranda\Lasch Wood Basket by Terrol Dew Johnson and Aranda\Lasch, 2016. Image Courtesy of Aranda\Lasch Model of a design for a desert bandshell by Terrol Dew Johnson and Aranda\Lasch, 2016. Image Courtesy of Aranda\Lasch Horsehair Basket by Terrol Dew Johnson and Aranda\Lasch, 2016. Image Courtesy of Aranda\Lasch + 12

This Map Shows The Evolution of Frank Lloyd Wright's Oak Park Designs

16:00 - 17 August, 2017
This Map Shows The Evolution of Frank Lloyd Wright's Oak Park Designs, © Phil Thompson
© Phil Thompson

Home to Frank Lloyd Wright for many years, Oak Park, Illinois is also the site of the greatest concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes and buildings than anywhere else in the world. Having designed structures for the neighborhood for nearly four decades, Wright used Oak Park as a place to try out new techniques and evolve his personal style.

Picking up on this, Illustrator Phil Thompson of Cape Horn Illustration has created a new map of Wright’s Oak Park designs. Organized both chronologically and by location, the map allows viewers to make connections between the structures, as their lines evolved from gabled to flat roofs and expanded in scale and in ambition.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Damaged from Flooding

16:30 - 21 July, 2017
© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/pablosanchez/3145407730/'>Flickr user pablosanchez</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Flickr user pablosanchez licensed under CC BY 2.0

Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous house, Fallingwater, was the recipient of minor damage after heavy rainfall caused the creek that gives the house its name, Bear Run, to flood last weekend.

According to Fallingwater director Lynda Waggoner, a fallen log picked up by the overflow rammed into the stone wall of the lower plunge pool, breaking off the wall’s capstone and dislodging one of the home’s signature sculpture pieces, the Jacques Lipchitz’s “Mother and Child.” The cast bronze sculpture was selected for Fallingwater by Wright, and installed soon after its completion in 1939.

The 58-Year Evolution of Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum

09:30 - 22 June, 2017
The 58-Year Evolution of Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1959, with the original yellow-brown painted facade. Image © Robert E. Mates
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1959, with the original yellow-brown painted facade. Image © Robert E. Mates

This article originally appeared on guggenheim.org/blogs under the title "Wright’s Living Organism: The Evolution of the Guggenheim Museum," and is used with permission.

Standing on the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum construction site in 1957, architect Frank Lloyd Wright proclaimed, “It is all one thing, all an integral, not part upon part. This is the principle I’ve always worked toward.” The “principle” that Wright referred to is the design ideology that he developed over the course of his seventy-year career: organic architecture. At its core, that principle was an aspiration for spatial continuity, in which every element of a building would be conceived not as a discretely designed module, but as a constituent of the whole.

Although not Wright’s intention per se, it is fitting that the building he conceived of as a living organism has evolved over time. The overall integrity and character-defining spiral form have remained unchanged, but there have been a series of additions and renovations necessitated by the growth and modernization of the institution.

9 Incredibly Famous Architects Who Didn't Possess an Architecture Degree

09:30 - 19 June, 2017

Had the worst jury ever? Failed your exams? Worry not! Before you fall on your bed and cry yourself to sleep—after posting a cute, frantic-looking selfie on Instagram, of course (hashtag so dead)—take a look at this list of nine celebrated architects, all of whom share a common trait. You might think that a shiny architecture degree is a requirement to be a successful architect; why else would you put yourself through so many years of architecture school? Well, while the title of "architect" may be protected in many countries, that doesn't mean you can't design amazing architecture—as demonstrated by these nine architects, who threw convention to the wind and took the road less traveled to architectural fame.

Explore Frank Lloyd Wright's Curvaceous Unbuilt House Design for Marilyn Monroe

08:30 - 16 June, 2017

Some unbuilt designs—the hopes they reveal and the reasons they stayed unbuilt—tell a powerful story. So it is with the home Frank Lloyd Wright designed for Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller. Or perhaps it’s what we think we know about Marilyn that makes it so poignant?

The union between a quiet-living intellectual and the world’s greatest sex symbol was baffling to the public, and the conflict between their aspirations and personalities seems to have played out in their plans for this Connecticut home. After moving into Miller’s country retreat, Monroe asked Wright to design a new house for them on this vast piece of land.