Saturday, August 15, 2009

four Wrights

Eating lunch in the American Wing Cafe at the Met Museum in New York:

Me: "Isn't it amazing how Frank Lloyd Wright is by far the most famous architect? I can't name a single architect besides him. Tom, can you?"

Tom: "I barely even knew Frank Lloyd Wright."

Me: "You hadn't heard of the Falling Water house?"

Tom: "I guess so. I barely knew his name. I just figured he wasn't the one who created the airplane."


Now that I think about it, the Wright line is very accomplished. The Wright Brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, and now Will Wright.


writer said...

An interesting story I heard about Frank Lloyd Wright:

Apparently in addition to being a great architect, he was an expert in statics (the thing you learn in physics about structures and the forces the components exert on each other), and he designed the cantilevered parts of the Falling Water house precisely and knowing that they would hold themselves up based on their positioning and materials strength.

Later, the contractor who built the house didn't believe that the design would work, so he added extra supports to hold things up. The weight of those very supports screwed up the whole thing and made it sag. After the supports were removed, the structured recovered and held up exactly as originally designed.

tourist.tam said...

You can certainly argue about Wright being the most famous one (Gaudie spring to mind). There have been a lot of well known Architect that have blended design and architecture.

I bet that Tom would certainly recognize quite a few things designed by a few of the prominent figures of the 20th century in design (MacKintosh or Horta). Funny to notice that Van Alen (Chrysler Building) has not met such a destiny.

Anonymous said...

How about I. M. Pei? - I knew him before Frank Lloyd Wright. I love Pei's Bank of China building in Hong Kong and the Louvre's glass Pyramid.

writer said...

Oh, apparently this anecdote is actually detailed in the wikipedia article:

Anonymous said...

"Now that I think about it, the Wright line is very accomplished. The Wright Brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, and now Will Wright."

s said...

writer: the bottom of the wikipedia article mentions that calculations done in preparation for the 2002 restoration work show that Wright's design was in fact flawed, and the cantilevers would have sagged even without the contractor's incompetence.

None said...

tom is ignorant.
btw, the house name is one word: