What does Frank Lloyd Wright have to do with energy and environmental architecture?
Everything. Mr. Wright’s rules of Organic Architecture embraced the natural siting facing the sun, smaller footprint with 98 sq. ft. bedrooms, rainwater use with no gutters, native landscaping by preserving the trees, regional resources with concrete and block, natural light with the clerestory windows, natural ventilation through the four ten foot doors, and natural materials which are specified in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design credit point system. Almost section for section LEED follows Wright’s principals. There have been many advances since his day but many architects think Mr. Wright would have been in the forefront of the environmental design movement. Credit needs to go to the founders of the U.S. Green Building Council for their leadership in this uniquely American perspective on sustainable architecture.
From “Frank Lloyd Wright An Autobiography” page 336, first edition published 1932
Hope is not yet dead. The minority report is yet as it always will be the life of any true Democracy. And architecture has arrived as that vital minority report. As architecture today taking shape in the noble realm of ideas to make our machine power and our undemocratic millions really beneficent, there is one great new integrity – the sense of the within as reality – and behind this dawning sense of reality there are four more limitless new resources to make it ours.
The first is this sense of the within as reality.
The second new resource is Glass a super-material. Glass, air in air to keep air out or keep it in.
The third new resource is a new standard means of spanning spaces by way of strands of steel. Tenuity. The spider spinning.
The fourth new resource is an awakened sense of Materials. Their nature understood and revealed.
The fifth new resource is Pattern as Natural – Integral ornament. A spiritual element no less real than the first three resources.
All five together are modern in the best sense and may be used to create a new grasp on building we call organic. All are demanding new significance as architecture and making architecture again natural to our way of life in this twentieth century. But all five resources are not only the basis for Modern Architecture in this century; altogether they are no less a lesson to be learned by Modern Life itself, because what is Life is, Architecture now is in this new sense.
Because of our infinite new riches in materials, because of our infinite new power in work, notwithstanding our present educational culture-lag and distraction, a deepening sense of life sees all these new resources at hand at this moment as modern and sees them as the stuff our culture will be made of.
What is it like living in an FLW home?
Janet and I get this question all the time. You have to be up to living in a famous piece of architecture. Janet and I are trying to do our homework and can talk Wright sort of but we’re alway learning and living here I get to be taught by Wright himself. I like the large glass windows. More than any other feature that is what I enjoy most because you are always outdoors. The scenery always changes. Day and night, season to season it is just plain encouraging and never depressing. A large great room is another feature of the home and another typical modern home feature. Living here is like signing up for an intense architectural fellowship, a commitment to understand, be sensitive and learn. We’re doing that and Janet and I also enjoy sharing the home with everyone that is interested. Every day that goes by fewer and fewer even know who Wright was but the ones that do are our kindred spirits. His buildings are timeless and that’s another thing he’s teaching me. David and Miriam Gosling, the previous owners, did quite a bit of work on the foundation of the home and we won’t have to worry about that.
The Goslings also put on a new roof. No, the home doesn’t leak.