During the 1920s, as the five remarkable projects in this book show, Frank Lloyd Wright developed architectural prototypes of far-reaching consequence. None of these schemes - Doheny Ranch, the Lake Tahoe summer colony, and the A. M. Johnson desert compound, all in California, the Gordon Strong automobile objective in Maryland, and San Marcos in the Desert, a compound of hotel and houses in Arizona - were built. But in them, Wright explored advanced building technologies and untried geometric patterns, and conceived rural and suburban building complexes that restructured their sites in a manner calculated to heighten the grandeur of each location. Earlier designs had approached their settings more tentatively, with linkages achieved through architectural extensions that ranged over the terrain but left the sites themselves less changed. Now a new, more persuasive unity between building and site resulted, one in which roads and other movement systems were so skillfully integrated that results of unequaled scale and majesty were achieved. Wright continued to develop these ideas in many subsequent works, notably Taliesin and Taliesin West, his homes in Wisconsin and Arizona.
From Library Journal:
In preparing their texts for this book, authors David G. De Long and Anne Whiston Spirn drew on a wealth of fresh archival sources as well as their investigation of the sites and of models constructed especially for this study. Their essays are illustrated with nearly 170 original drawings for the five schemes and related buildings, as well as Taliesin and Taliesin West, many of which are published here for the first time. In addition, a special portfolio of drawings, assembled by C. Ford Peatross, places Wright's designs of the 1920s in the context of the architectural representation of the automobile and the roadway through 1930, both in the U.S. and abroad, to illustrate the ways in which his architecture stood apart and was influential. Completing this handsome volume is Robert L. Sweeney's valuable detailed chronology of Wright's life and work between 1922 and 1932.
In the 1920s, premier American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed five major projects: the Doheny Ranch, the Lake Tahoe summer colony, the A.M. Johnson desert compound, the George Strong automobile complex, and the San Marcos in the Desert hotel and housing complex. None was built, yet they proved instrumental in Wright's growth as an architect. Here, two major essays by Spirn and David G. De Long, professors of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, argue persuasively that these five projects show Wright's emerging belief in constructing buildings that were not in contrast to but in unity with the environment, resulting in a fresh, new landscape. Both professors write in a scholarly style, more for the professional architect than the informed reader. Their essays are illustrated with 179 original drawings of the five projects, but sadly, the reproductions are faint and often unclear. Also included is a portfolio of drawings assembled by C. Ford Peatross, a curator at the Library of Congress, on the importance of the automobile in the 1930s. Although the major essays do touch on the influence of the automobile in Wright's projects, this portfolio seems added simply to give the book bulk. Recommended only for academic, especially architectural, libraries.?Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu
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