October 8, 2012
Architecture as Art: Frank Lloyd Wright house in Arizona
Often we see architecture and art walking hand-in-hand. Often we see houses full of glamour to be preserved forever.
This is not the case of Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Arizona house built for his son David. We will get there, first the iconic home.
According to architectural historian and Harvard professor Neil Levine this was:
One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most innovative, unusual and personal works of architecture. Built in 1950–52, it is the only residence by the world-famous architect that is based on the circular spiral plan of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, whose construction followed it by six years. When the house was first published in 1953, it was stated that no other Wright house since Fallingwater was as praiseworthy and remarkable. Since then its reputation has only increased and several architectural historians and architecture critics consider it to be among the 20 most significant Wright buildings. The spatial design, the processional movement through the patio and along the spiral ramp, the custom-designed concrete-block detailing, and the total interior design all give this house a spectacular expression especially appropriate to the desert environment.
Real estate speculation developer are about to bring down this house. However, the architecture and design community exhaled a collective sigh of relief earlier this week as an exceptional private residence narrowly escaped oblivion at the hands of a ruthless real estate developer—for the time being. The demolition of the house was pushed back a month at the eleventh hour by the City of Phoenix, which hopes to rectify a complex legal situation in a state known for its aggressive real estate development policies.
The current owner, JT Morning Glory Enterprises LP, is in the process of selling the property to a buyer whose identity is unknown.
Dozens of architects and Wright aficionados attended the city’s Planning Commission meeting this week in support of the conservancy’s request for a historical icon preservation.
Hopefully one of Wright’s most important works — innovative, unique and personal – will remain one the most important inspiration for nowadays architects and design lovers.