Frank Lloyd Wright's Organic Style
Almost 50 years after his death, architect Frank Lloyd Wright's organic style continues to influence designers.
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How cool is Frank Lloyd Wright? So cool — or should we say hot? — that last December, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie celebrated Pitt's 43rd birthday in Wright's architectural masterpiece, Fallingwater, in Mill Run, Pa. The couple is a fan of the legendary architect's style, and held a private party in Fallingwater's living room. The home, built by Wright in the 1930s, is famous for embracing nature with its stacked-stone design set over a waterfall.
Jealous? Don't be. You can one-up the Jolie-Pitts and spend a whole night in a Wright masterpiece just 15 minutes away in Park Resort ( http://www.polymathpark.com) Polymath. Wright's just-opened Duncan House was built in Chicago in 1957 and was recently painstakingly reassembled in the Pennsylvania forest. Visitors can rent the house, which sleeps six, for about $385 a night. You can also tour Fallingwater (http://www.paconserve.org) just like Brad and Angelina.
Why the continued fascination with Wright almost 50 years after his death? Architect/interior designer Constance Ramos (http://www.constanceramos.com) thinks his style endures because of its contemporary, organic lines. "My dad, also an architect, was a great Frank Lloyd Wright fan and that rubbed off on me," she says. "Wright was really searching and finding the design of American democracy. And he had these amazing people who followed him and still carry out his work and philosophy. So Wright is still everywhere, and he's still relevant."
Wright was arguably one of the most multi-talented people of the 20th century, according to interior designer Mark McCauley, ASID. "Not only did he help create and define the Prairie School style — open floor plans, horizontal lines, a nod to nature — that is still popular today, he also designed everything from furniture and textiles to lighting and accessories," says the author of Interior Design for idiots (http://businesswebsites101.com/idiots).
Wright was born in Wisconsin and worked for decades in Chicago, but his buildings are elsewhere like Hollywood (private homes), Tokyo (The Imperial Hotel) and New York City (The Guggenheim Museum). Now you can bring the "Wright" stuff into your own home with fountains, thermometers, textiles and furniture. The pieces are a tribute to the man who thought good design should be in and of nature — not just the great outdoors, but the essence of who we really are and how we live. "Every great architect is, necessarily, a great poet," Wright once said. "He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age."
Designer Andrew Flesher, the master of mixing it up, gives us a lesson in decorating with impact.