Architecture and Landscape, Frank Lloyd Wright's circular house designs

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Conference Proceeding

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The Jacobs “hemicycle” (1943) is often noted as an early example of the new architectures of the 20th century grappling with passive solar design and energy efficiency. It is much more than that. It is a unique moment of creative synthesis wherein the symbolic dimension is brought to the fore as an integral part of unifying perceptions of landscape and architectonics, an example of Wright's concepts of “continuity” and “reintegration.” His use of circles and arcs in residential design began with the 1938 unbuilt Jester House project. The also unbuilt designs for John Nesbitt (1941) and Lloyd Burlingham (1942) provide insight into the growing complexity of his use of these forms in relation to specific sites. This effort appears then in the design of the Jacobs hemicycle just as the first designs for the Guggenheim Museum in New York were beginning. Wright extended the layered exploration of perception of self and landscape, form and purpose that the Jacobs design offers into many dozens of others, mostly unbuilt, over the remainder of his career. The most spectacular is the house he proposed in Palm Springs (1950) for Lilianne and Edgar Kaufman of Fallingwater.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Proceedings of 33rd PLEA International Conference: Design to Thrive, PLEA 2017

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