Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Frank Lloyd Wright's Price Tower

Plan image: the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

When was a teenager, the only arts-related offerings at my high school were mechanical drawing and architectural drawing - so I took them both.

Mechanical drawing was pretty dry. I loved drawing isometrics, though, and the holy grail of mechanical drafting at that time - the screw jack - was a challenging and fun exercise for this eager student, and in retrospect, quite the organic form.

Architectural drawing was another story. My love for architecture truly began when I discovered three Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the textbook: Fallingwater, the Johnson Wax office building and tower, and this fine jewel of a building - the Price Tower.

I remember being mesmerized by the geometry of the plan. The dynamic marriage of the square with 30/60 degree geometries blew my mind (and still does).

I had the opportunity to visit the newly renovated Price Tower a couple of years ago, and I was not disappointed. The two-story apartments (with lower level living area and sleeping mezzanine above) contrast magically with adjacent office flats. And the exterior 30 degree concrete stair puts you right out there in the wind with all of the cool exterior forms and materials.

It's well worth a trip to Bartlesville, Oklahoma to experience this treasure. Stay at the Inn at Price Tower and take in the Price Tower Art Center -curated eloquently by Scott Perkins - for interesting exhibitions directly or obliquely related to organic architecture.

No comments: