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Frank Lloyd Wright. Prairie Style Architecture. Importance of Prairie Architecture in Chicago Area. One of the few architectural styles born in America Influenced by the landscape of the prairie Began in Chicago with Louis Sullivan Made popular by Frank Lloyd Wright

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Frank lloyd wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

Prairie Style Architecture


Importance of prairie architecture in chicago area
Importance of Prairie Architecture in Chicago Area

  • One of the few architectural styles born in America

  • Influenced by the landscape of the prairie

  • Began in Chicago with Louis Sullivan

  • Made popular by Frank Lloyd Wright

    • Essentially the “father” of the Prairie style


Childhood
Childhood

  • Born in Wisconsin in 1867 and influenced by the landscape there.

  • Worked on a farm as a young boy

    • Loved the low rolling hills of the Wisconsin prairie

    • Thrilled by the changing seasonal colors in nature

    • Delighted in the simple shapes he found in nature

      • Small spheres in a peapod

      • Straight rows of square kernels in corn

      • Patterns in freshly tilled soil and rock layers


Chicago
Chicago

  • At age 20, moved to Chicago where Chicago architects were leading the way in developing new architectural ideas – skyscrapers

  • Worked for Louis Sullivan for 5 years

    • Auditorium (largest building in Chicago at the time)

    • World’s Fair, 1893

    • Home plan

  • Lived and worked in Oak Park, Il


Wright s view on his homes
Wright’s View on His Homes

  • Wanted his homes to remind him of the shapes and colors of nature that he loved on the farm in Wisconsin

    • designed in a style that was harmonious with nature’s colors and shapes

  • Wanted them to reflect the freedom to move around in America’s great open spaces

  • Wanted them to provide security and happiness to those who lived in them

    Did not want to simply design a house, but create a complete environment


Prairie style architecture
Prairie Style Architecture

  • Moving away from the very ornate Victorian styles imported from Europe and very popular at the turn of the century

    • Thought they were big, overly decorated, boxed–in and confining

  • Envisioned a radical new design, a modern house that took into consideration the whole environment

    • inside and outside.


Prairie style features
Prairie Style Features

  • Open floor plan

  • Low pitched roof

  • Overhanging eaves

  • Horizontal lines

  • Central chimney

  • Small rows of banded windows

  • Art glass

  • Natural building materials such as wood & brick


Open floor plan
Open Floor Plan

  • Made homes look bigger by using wide openings

  • Main living area opened up into one large space



Low pitched roof overhanging eaves
Low Pitched Roof/Overhanging Eaves furniture into the house

  • Low horizontal lines meant to blend in with the flat landscape that surrounded them.

  • No attics– roof hugged the top of the house and pushed out beyond the walls as though they were reaching for the ground

  • No basements – gave appearance to be planted in the ground


Fireplaces
Fireplaces furniture into the house

  • Heart of the family and placed them in the center of the main living room

    • Gathering place for the family


Windows
Windows furniture into the house

  • Bands of horizontal windows looked like ribbons of glass wrapped around the house

  • Would design them so sun would shine in them in the winter and not in the summer – always thinking how the natural setting would affect the building


Windows1
Windows furniture into the house

  • Textured with softly colored stained glass designs that Frank drew from patterns found in nature


Natural building materials
Natural Building Materials furniture into the house

  • Wood and brick

  • Colors looked like what they were naturally and were not painted

  • Patios and terraces planted with flowers, gardens and bushes helped the house blend in with the landscape


Playroom
Playroom furniture into the house

  • Always designed a special place for children


Prairie style houses in hinsdale
Prairie Style Houses in Hinsdale furniture into the house

  • As Prairie Style caught on and became more popular, Hinsdale residents had homes designed for them



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