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Understanding Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture

Understanding Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture

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Understanding Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture

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4/5 (4 avaliações)
Comprimento:
186 página
1 hora
Lançado em:
Apr 4, 2012
ISBN:
9780486135779
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

"May be the best book on Wright ever written, with the exception of the master's own incomparable autobiography." — New York Times Book Review
Despite the vast literature about Frank Lloyd Wright, noted Wright scholar Donald Hoffmann contends that observations about Wright commonly fail to reach any understanding of his art and few commentaries deal with the principles of his architecture. What inspired his work? How did his architecture mature? What are the dynamics of its characteristic expression? Why will the formative principles always be valid?
The answers to these and other questions about Wright's architectural philosophy, ideals and methods can be found in this superb treatment, enhanced with 127 photos, plans, and illustrations of a host of Wright masterworks. Among these are the Robie house, the Winslow house, Fallingwater, Hollyhock House, the Larkin Building, Unity Temple, Taliesin, the Guggenheim Museum, the Johnson Wax Building, and many more.
Expertly analyzing Wright's approach to siting, furnishing, landscaping, and other details, Mr. Hoffmann has written an insightful guide to the concepts that gave Wright's architecture "not only its extraordinary vigor of structure and form, expression and meaning, but its surprising continuity." The book will be essential reading for all Wright fans and anyone interested in the evolution of modern architecture.
Lançado em:
Apr 4, 2012
ISBN:
9780486135779
Formato:
Livro

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Understanding Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture - Donald Hoffmann

9780486135779

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Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

DOVER BOOKS ON ARCHITECTURE

INTRODUCTION

THE ROMANCE OF THE HORIZONTAL

ROOF, CANTILEVER AND RIFT

A NEW SENSE OF BUILDING ENTIRELY

THE COUNTENANCE OF PRINCIPLE

AN IDIOCENTRIC WORLD

INDEX

FREE - COLORING PAGES, CLIP ART, PUZZLES & MORE!

INTRODUCTION

The literature about Frank Lloyd Wright, now so vast, remains largely unsatisfactory. Wright fought for principles, not mere details or idiosyncrasies, and yet very few commentaries even ask what those principles might be. What inspired his work? How did his architecture mature? What are the dynamics of its characteristic expression? Why will the formative principles always be valid?

Observations about Wright commonly fail to reach any understanding of his art. Such formulations as flowing space and ribbon windows and overhanging eaves persist not only as cliches but as insipid, inaccurate, worthless little phrases. Plainly enough, space is not liquid and does not flow; instead, it is moved through, bodily or with the eyes, imagination and memory. The noble spaces in Wright’s architecture consist of highly structured vistas—obiique perspectives that change with each slight shift or turn and lure the mind toward what is just out of sight. A ribbon window ought to describe only a narrow, unpunctuated, smooth surface of glass. But the windows in Wright’s buildings are both vital and articulate; they open outward and break free from the uniform plane. The words overhanging eaves, apart from their obvious redundancy, cannot begin to suggest the sheer generative energy of projection in his roofs and cornices.

To begin afresh with Wright is to reject the accumulated burden of received opinion, all the academic theories that pretend to explain his architecture from presumed methods and sources, whether from the Froebel kindergarten toys his mother so proudly claimed credit for giving him (although he was already nine years old), or the Arts and Crafts movement, the Vienna Secession, manipulations of grid systems or tartan plaids into ground plans, playful exercises in pure abstraction (clearly in advance of Cubism, but somehow dependent on European modernism for validation), archetypal memories or sophomoric Freudian symbols, arcane literary allusions or even dreamlike condensations of motifs cunningly harvested from the whole history of architecture (as if an art on this order could have been constructed upon a foundation of footnotes).

To respond to each of those theories would only compound the pedantry beyond which Wright never fails to soar. Goethe remarked the absurdity of scholars who avoid the living concept to concern themselves merely with what others have said about it. Otto von Simson writes in The Gothic Cathedral that those who overrate and oversimplify such assumed influences, seeking in art history a consistent and predictable course, take the sure road to misunderstanding all that is significant, original and authentic. Nothing more directly kills the productive capacity in art, said Schelling, than a concentration on memory. Or, as Pope nicely put it:

Where beams of warm imagination play,

The memory’s soft figures melt away.

Much that has been published about Wright’s life and work remains trivial, repetitive or irrelevant. Critical inquiry too quickly gives way to historical narrative, history lapses into biography, and, to pander to what Plato called the ignorant multitude, biography descends into rumor and gossip. The art itself goes unexamined.

Buildings stand still, but Wright could invest them with the force of movement and with an aesthetic integrity that evoked organic growth. The visual dynamics of his work will be understood only after the informing principles have been grasped. Wright always meant to be an exemplar, not a teacher. Averse to school and rule, he said it was not his task to assess or interpret his own work; moreover, he was intensely competitive and thus far from eager to expose his innermost procedure. His writing grew discursive and too often beside the point. Hence his words need to be sifted and weighed with care, sifted again and always tested against the evidence of the eye. Then they will help to identify the principles that gave his architecture not only its extraordinary vigor of structure and form, expression and meaning, but its surprising continuity.

THE ROMANCE OF THE HORIZONTAL

Surely it was from Louis H. Sullivan, the architect he most respected other than himself, that Frank Lloyd Wright

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    Frank Lloyd Wright is probably still America's best known and iconic architect with 433 projects listed in Storrer's work catalog. FLW's buildings all share a common look of Japan/Pueblo meets Hobbit romanticism.In this unassuming booklet with plenty of B/W photos and illustrations, Hoffmann distills the essence and principles of FLW's architecture: the horizontal lines hugging the ground, the cantilevered roof freeing walls from structural duties, the integration of buildings in their natural surroundings.While Hoffmann dwells on the importance of the prairie on Wright's style, he neglects in my opinion the influence of Japanese buildings (a culture rediscovered shortly before FLW's birth). A discussion of his near contemporary Walter Gropius who also discovered many of Wright's lessons might have served to illustrate Wright's closeness to the 19th century with his focus on craftmanship and uniqueness. Overall, an excellent primer on Wright.