The Master Lives…Forever


One of the very cool aspects of being an architect is that your built work lasts for a very long time.

I love the work of the American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. He died in 1959 and left us with some of the world’s most incredible buildings. Well known to many would be The Guggenheim in New York; that crazy white outward-spiral on Fifth Avenue, which was completed just after his death at 92 years of age.

And if the art is not inspiring – don’t worry…the building IS the art.


guggenheim interior

A few years back I made the trek to his other most famous work – Fallingwater. Set in a golden slice of Pennsylvania this unique house is cantilevered over the Bear Run waterfall. (photo of me below – massive smile obscured).

Over 150,000 people visit this masterpiece every year. When you are there you understand why…the setting, the architecture and the interiors (including the sound of the waterfall) are breathtaking. Even more astounding is that it was designed in 1935!

fallingwater 1


But it was my journey to experience his ‘desert’ work in 2006 that had a profound effect on me. Taliesin West (below) was a highlight – his ‘campus’ near Scottsdale in Arizona constructed from 1937 onwards. It was 44 degrees in the shade but it only added to the intensity of the experience.

A dip in the pool would have been the perfect ending – unfortunately the amazing tour guides would not allow it!


There are a few other Wright buildings I have visited over the years: the ‘Hollyhock House’ in Los Angeles (designed 1919); ‘Auldbrass’ in South Carolina (1940); the Arch Obelor House in Malibu (also 1940); and ‘Kentuck Knob’ in Pennsylvania (1953 – when Frank was 86) (image below) that are all well worth visiting if you’re in the neighbourhood!

Kentuck Knob

Ken Burns also did a cracker film on his dramatic life (on DVD).

As always I am interested in your comments…