Monday, August 3, 2009

Frank Lloyd Wright's Unitarian Meeting House

Last year I posted a series of photos of the Unitarian Meeting House in Madison.

In my ambitious space clearing project of the past few days, I found this decade-old drawing in one of my old sketchbooks.

Besides being one of my favorite FLlW buildings, the Meeting House turned out to be one of the most copied (almost always badly) of Mr. Wright's compositions. (He called his buildings "symphonies in stone.") Look at the prow; think of how many churches you've seen with an extended ridge at on the front, some with stained glass in some configuration, some with a solid front.

Frank Lloyd Wright preached the gospel of organic architecture. I've asked many apprentices who studied under America's great Architect about the meaning of organic architecture and, as with Mr. Wright's writing, the answer is almost always different.

"The whole is to the part as the part is to the whole."

"Emulate, but never imitate Nature (Frank Lloyd Wright always capitalized the word)."

And "the building should have its own Nature; it should have a soul!"

This building certainly does have all of that.

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