The Natural House

Front Cover
Horizon Press, 1954 - Architecture - 223 pages
When Frank Lloyd Wright turns his attention to one of the most important personal problems now facing practically everyone in our society - it is a time for rejoicing. The world's greatest architect here meets the urgent problem of suitable shelter for The Family in a democracy, in a magnificent and - as was to be expected - challenging book. Here, presented at last in full detail, is the natural house. The moderate cost houses described in this book and profusely illustrated with 116 photographs, plans and drawings, are houses - of infinite variety for people of limited means - in which living has become for their owners a purposeful new adventure in freedom and dignity. Mr. Wright tells the story of the world famous "Usonian" houses, so that we now see, in text and illustrations, how they have evolved from original conception to final execution. He has also written a step-by-step description of the "Usonion Automatic," explaining just how that remarkable house is built - a simplified method of construction so devised that the owners themselves can build it with great economy and beauty. For this purpose, there are, in addition to Mr. Wright's text, special photographs and drawings of the method and materials, showing clearly how the Usonion Automatic is built.

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User Review  - ValerieAndBooks - LibraryThing

Frank Lloyd Wright was definitely a man of strong opinions, as indicated in this 1954 publication that came out a few years before his death. One such opinion is indicated by this apparently sarcastic ... Read full review

Contents

19361953
19
Steel and Glass
32
BUILDING THE NEW HOUSE
37
Simplicity
41
Plasticity
44
A PHILOSOPHY
49
Glass
53
Continuity
54
The Basement 158 Insulation and Heating
158
The Kind of Roof
160
The Attic
161
Size of Kitchen
165
The Client and the House
166
Expanding for the Growing Family
167
Childrens Rooms
168
17O Furnishings 17O Chairs
170

Materials for Their Own Sake
59
The New Integrity
62
Integral Ornament At Last
63
Great Power
67
THE USONIAN HOUSE I
97
Gravity Heat
98
CONCERNING THE USONIAN HOUSE
115
1954
129
FROM THE GROUND UP 139 Where to Build
139
What Kind of Land 142 A Suitable Foundation
142
Advantages of the BermType
148
How to Light the House 154 The Great Luminary
154
Paint
174
Air Conditioning?
175
The Contractor
178
THE HOUSE AS A WORK OF
181
The Architect of the Future
186
It is Valiant to be Simple
187
THE USONIAN AUTOMATIC 197 Reducing the Costs
197
How the Usonian Automatic is Built
199
ORGANIC ARCHITECTURE AND THE ORIENT
215
The Philosophy and the Deed
218
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Sources Photographers Credits
223
Copyright

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About the author (1954)

Wright is widely considered the greatest American architect and certainly one of the most influential. Throughout a career of nearly 70 years, he produced masterpiece after masterpiece, each different and boldly new and yet each with the unmistakable touch of Wright's genius in the treatment of material, the detailing, and the overall concept. Born in Wisconsin of Welsh ancestry, Wright studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin and began his career in Chicago as chief assistant to Louis Henry Sullivan, who influenced his early thinking on the American architect as harbinger of democracy and on the organic nature of the true architecture. Out of these ideas, Wright developed the so-called prairie house, of which the Robie House in Chicago and the Avery Coonley House in Riverdale, Illinois, are outstanding examples. In the "prairie-style," Wright used terraces and porches to allow the inside to flow easily outside. Movement within such houses is also open and free-floating from room to room and from layer to layer. Public buildings followed: the Larkin Administration Building in Buffalo (destroyed) and the Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois, the former probably the most original and seminal office building up to that time (1905). The Midway Gardens in Chicago and the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo (both gone) came next, winning Wright still greater acclaim. Personal tragedy, misunderstanding, and neglect dogged Wright's middle years, but he prevailed, and in his later life gathered enormous success and fame. The masterworks of his mature years are the Johnson Wax Building in Racine, Wisconsin, and Fallingwater, Bear Run, Pennsylvania---with its bold cantilevered balconies over a running stream, probably the most admired and pictured private house in American architecture; then, toward the end of his life, the spiral design of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Wright's own houses, to which he joined architectural studios, are also noteworthy: Taliesin West was a true Shangri-la in the Arizona desert, to which he turned in order to escape the severe winters in Wisconsin, where he had built his extraordinary Taliesin East. Wright was a prolific and highly outspoken writer, ever polemical, ever ready to propagate his ideas and himself. All of his books reflect a passionate dedication to his beliefs---in organic architecture, democracy, and creativity.

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