Design Legend: Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright trained as an engineer at the University of Wisconsin, but determined to excel at architecture; he practiced as an architect in and around Chicago from around 1887 onward. His preoccupation with geometric forms and intersecting planes in his architecture led him to develop a similar styled for pieces of furniture. These simple wooden structures often were rectilinear and box like and featured exaggerated elements to emphasize their role in creating internal space.

“Architecture is the triumph of Human Imagination over materials, methods, and men, to put man into possession of his own Earth. It is at least the geometric pattern of things, of life, of the human and social world. It is at best that magic framework of reality that we sometimes touch upon when we use the word ‘order‘.”

 – Frank Lloyd Wright

Furniture Characteristics

  •      Solid and Rugged.
  •      Metal, Leather, and Linen used with Wood.
  •      Natural Colors.
  •      Square shaped.

This Wright original piece was designed for the Imperial Hotel as part of the integrated scheme. Several pieces have been made as adaptations of this piece. The one I have chosen was designed by Eoos. It utilizes the same shape however its base is made of stainless steel and has less diagonal line than the original wood based chair.

While in San Francisco this weekend, I had the opportunity to tour one of Frank Lloyd Wrights commercial spaces. The V. C. Morris Gift Shop is located at 140Maiden Lane in San Francisco. The structure was renovated by Wright in 1948. The store was used by Wright as a physical prototype or proof of concept for the circular ramp at the Guggenheim Museum.  All of the built-in furniture is constructed of black walnut and was designed by Wright himself. In 2007, the American Institute of Architects listed the building as 126 of the 150 favorite buildings in America. Here are the pictures that I took while visiting the building…….

9 thoughts on “Design Legend: Frank Lloyd Wright

  1. I walked by this building a few weeks ago when I was visiting San Francisco. After seeing your pictures, I regret not going inside.

  2. Danielle,
    It was amazing. It is crazy to think such an almost nondescript building can hold so much history and beautiful design. Next time you are there, you should definitely check it out. It is currently a gallery with art and jewelry for sale but the staff is very kind and understands the importance of the building in design history.


  3. That quote is freaking amazing and definitely got him a chair at my “who would you like to have dinner with” table. Is it just me or brilliance is no longer a factor when it comes to success in any field? I miss that. I miss the time when people were so damn awesome they didn’t need to advertise their work, because eeeeverybody has heard of it already.

  4. I think the ability to market yourself and knowing the right people are more important than talent in many fields. Brilliance emerges from those that can continue to create and do their best work despite a lack of recognition.

  5. Pingback: Design Legend: Harry Bertoia |

  6. Thank you for sharing these great photos. I have walked by the shop, which I believe was a gallery of African art at the time. Unfortunately it wasn’t open so I wasn’t able to get inside. The exterior itself is quite distinctive.

  7. I love the building. The staff at the gallery are fantastic. If you make it back, you definitely should check it out.


  9. Pingback: Design Legend: Arthur Mackmurdo |

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