Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century explores the tenets of Wright’s organic architecture—appropriateness to time, place and people—through the current perspective of green building; specifically the concepts of energy, materials, site, climate, space efficiency, pre-fabricated technology, transportation and urban planning. The exhibition highlights many triumphs of Wright’s career including Unity Temple (Oak Park, IL, 1905), Fallingwater (Mill Run, PA, 1936), Johnson Wax Administration Building (Racine, WI, 1936, known today as the SC Johnson Administration Building), Taliesin (Spring Green, WI, 1911-59) and Taliesin West (Scottsdale, AZ, 1937-59).
The design of Arizona’s own Taliesin West exemplifies Wright’s architectural philosophy. The dramatic rugged landscape of the Sonoran Desert provided the inspiration for buildings that evolve and blend with the environment. Wright first came to Arizona in 1928 as a consultant for the Arizona Biltmore hotel. He returned the following year to work on another large resort commission, setting up camp near Chandler, AZ. This project fell victim to the financial collapse of the 1930s and it would be another seven years before Wright would return to the area to begin building a permanent residence, Taliesin West, 10 miles north of Scottsdale. Over the next 22 years he designed dozens of Arizona residential and commercial structures, some of which were never built, eight of which are still in use today. To celebrate the state’s upcoming Centennial, a special focus of the exhibition will be a large-scale model and drawings of a new Arizona State Capitol building proposed by Wright in 1957.