Saturday, October 28, 2006

The term "Organic Architecture" was invented by the great architect, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959).

"So here I stand before you preaching organic architecture: declaring organic architecture to be the modern ideal and the teaching so much needed if we are to see the whole of life, and to now serve the whole of life, holding no traditions essential to the great TRADITION. Nor cherishing any preconceived form fixing upon us either past, present or future, but instead exalting the simple laws of common sense or of super-sense if you prefer determining form by way of the nature of materials..."Frank Lloyd Wright, An Organic Architecture, 1939

Frank Lloyd Wright used the word "organic" to describe his philosophy of architecture. It was an extension of the teachings of his mentor, Louis Sullivan, whose slogan "form follows function" became the mantra of modern architecture. Wright changed this phrase to "form and function are one," claiming Nature as the ultimate model.
Although the word "organic" is now used as a buzzword for something that occurs naturally, when connected to architecture, it takes on a new meaning. Organic Architecture is not a style of imitation, but rather, a reinterpretation of Nature's principles to build forms more natural than nature itself.
Just as in Nature, Organic Architecture involves a respect for natural materials (wood should look like wood), blending into the surroundings (a house should be of the hill, not on it), and an honest expression of the function of the building (don't make a bank look like a Greek temple).
The Philosophy of Organic architecture continues today through the work of hundreds of students of Mr. Wright.