Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the world's most famous interior designers and building architects. He has created over 500 completed projects and designed over 1,000. His influential style of building has become one of the most respected and well known among architects, artists, and designers around the world. Wright was born in 1867 in the state of Wisconsin to a Welsh mother and a Massachusetts-born father. At the age of 14, his parents separated and Frank Lloyd Wright became the man of the house, taking care of his mother and his two sisters. In 1886, he attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison and worked with an engineering professor there, however he left the school without graduating and moved to Chicago. What many people may not know is that Frank Lloyd Wright was also an established educator, and he wrote 20 books and was also known for his educational lectures. While he was in Chicago, he began looking for work and knew there was a need for good architects after the famous Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Because of the fire, the need for new buildings, development, and construction was very high. He soon got a job with an architectural firm in the city, which was under the leadership of Joseph Lyman Silsbee, and originally worked as a draftsman. Wright was quite opinionated and soon left Silsbee to take several different architectural jobs with other firms as well, expressing that he preferred a more modern, progressive style of architecture.
Soon, Wright began to branch out on his own and design many different houses and apartment buildings. The Winslow House, one of his first homes, was built in River Forest, Illinois. This home exemplified Wright's new direction in design and served as a good example of what was to come for many years in his unusual style. The house was built on a private street and was at the request of the Edward Waller estate. Many of the homes in Wright's early portfolio were built or designed at the request of private owners. Wright's unique style caught on with other architects throughout the state of Illinois, New York, and other areas. Soon, clients were requesting he assist with projects and design various buildings and not just private homes. His sense of style brought about a new creativity that had never been seen before and sparked the imaginations of fans and fellow architects. Combining different types of architectural styles, his famous "prairie" houses made him stand out among his competitors. These homes were a new idea that caught on well with American culture. At that time, he became an independent architect, which gave him much more creative freedom and allowed him to design homes more suited to his own vision. Large and longer shaped square windows and art deco style building techniques gave Frank Lloyd Wright's projects and homes a very distinct look. These homes were modern, unique, and progressive. Many of the homes he built and designed are now considered important landmarks. He was a firm believer in providing a large amount of space inside of a home that might appear to be smaller on the outside. He also credited Mexican ruins and organic inspirations as other muses for his work. Because his architecture gained so much interest, he also got involved with community and urban planning, which later sparked some of his better known and more beloved, recognizable creations.
In California and the Los Angeles area, he also built many homes using something called the textile block system. These homes had a distinct look using concrete blocks that were pre-made with different patterns embedded into them. Frank Lloyd Wright had many amazing contributions to the world of architecture, but some are much more known to the public than others. His only skyscraper is Price Tower, which was built in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Most of the homes he built are considered pieces of American history and are now open to the public. The world-famous Guggenheim Museum in New York City was commissioned for Wright to work on in 1943. Today, it is one of the most unique and widely recognizable museums in the world and is a true sight to behold. It truly exemplifies his unusual design tactics, and displays his creative vigor. Wright's "Falling Water" house is another amazing piece of work. This unique structure was built over a waterfall in western Pennsylvania. Its modern style and unusual design make it a truly amazing piece of architecture that incorporates the modern world with the natural one. Without a doubt, it is one of his signature pieces of work. One of Wright's more personal works, Taliesin West, was built near Phoenix, Arizona, and served as his home for six months out of the year once it was built in 1937 up until his death in 1959. Its long slender structure with breathtaking views of the desert made it a true gem and a real icon of modern architecture. There is no doubt that Frank Lloyd Wright was and still is an influential figure in the world of modern design and architecture. New designers often claim him to be a source of inspiration for their works. In 1991, Frank Lloyd Wright was recognized by the American Institute of Architects as the greatest American architect of all time. This title gives testament to his important mark on the world and his influence on the world of architecture. Sadly, he passed away on April 9, 1959 in Phoenix Arizona, but his memory and work will live on forever and will always be an important part of American culture.