- Flickr / Amit Gupta
If you’ve ever roamed down the eggshell-colored, spiral ramp of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, you’ve had the pleasure of experiencing a Frank Lloyd Wright original.
When it comes to American architecture, Wright is a legend.
He championed organic architecture, or the belief that buildings should live in harmony with the environment.
Wright “created a new form that would resonate over time, always testing new ideas and materials,” the director of Wright’s Fallingwater, Lynda Waggoner, told Business Insider.
Here are some of his greatest works.
Fallingwater, a home built over a 30-foot waterfall in southwest Pennsylvania, is a National Historic Landmark — declared 43 years ago this month.
“It was connected with nature in a very intimate way,” Waggoner said. “Its furnishings grow from the house like the house grows from its setting.”
The interior is just as harmonious. “He was always looking ahead, not backward,” Waggoner said.
- Chun-Hung Eric Cheng / Flickr
One of ten of Wright’s works nominated as World Heritage sites, the Unity Temple in Illinois revolutionized church architecture.
- Esther Westerveld
“He turned his back on traditional church architecture,” Waggoner said.
Another first was the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House in Wisconsin, Wright’s first single family home. It’s characterized by its horizontal flat roofs with broad overhanging edges.
- Kyle Magnuson
Another famous work is the Taliesin home. Like a ship’s bow, it rises above the surrounding Wisconsin hills. The stone used in courtyard continues into the bedroom and library.
Although an earthquake damaged this Tokyo Imperial hotel in 1968 and it was later torn down, the lobby has been reconstructed at the Meiji-Mura museum.
- WIkipedia Commons
The 221-foot Price Tower in Oklahoma stands as the only built skyscraper by Wright—though he designed more.
- Lane Pearman
The Marin County Civic Center is Wright’s only built government building, boasting a bizarre spire. He designed the stucco structure to fade into the California hills.
- Eugene Kim
The massive Hollyhock House in Los Angeles is an early example of Wright’s use of ornamental concrete.
- Sandra Cohen-Rose
And Wright designed this vine-covered home in Arizona for his son, David.
The Avery Coonley House in Riverside, Illinois, oversees 10 acres of property with gardens and its own pond with lily pads. It’s divided into four separate residences.
- Patrick Gustine
In summer 2016, the estate’s bedroom wing sold for only $355,000, while the rest of the house is still up for grabs at $1.799 million, according to Curbed.
Wright designed modest, affordable homes too, called the American System-Built homes. “He wanted to create architecture for a democracy, not just the wealthy,” said Waggoner. Here’s one such duplex in Milwaukee.
- James Steakley
While most 20th century architects took cues from our European ancestors, Wright developed a different vision for the American home. The Robie House in Chicago features continuous windows throughout and a wide open living space at its center.
- Public Domain
The S.C. Johnson Administration Building in Wisconsin is one of Wright’s most significant statements about the future of office buildings. In the main workroom, Wright chose open floor plan and what he called “dendriform columns,” which resemble tree trunks.
- Public Domain
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum — Wright’s most recognizable work — was also one of his last. A concrete spiral walkway wraps through the exhibits of the New York City museum.
Although he faced criticism from artists who doubted art could be displayed on a downward ramp, Wright stuck with the now iconic design, which attracts more than 3 million people worldwide each year.
- Flickr / Amit Gupta