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Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Jul 12, 2019

Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs were made to be of their surroundings. Wright always considered the existing architecture in his design, while still maintaining his unique principles and aesthetic. In this activity, you’ll be working with three examples of architecture to examine how Wright sought underlying patterns to design a building that was uniquely his own, while still respecting the history of the site.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs were made to be of their surroundings. When designing for the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, Wright considered the existing architecture in his design, while still maintaining his unique principles and aesthetic.

In this activity, you’ll be working with three examples of architecture: Wright’s Anderton Court Shop, designed in 1952 and built in Beverly Hills, California; Wright’s 1953 design for the Masieri Memorial, student library, and dwelling for Venice Italy; and an example of classic Venetian buildings.

First, start by drawing a Venn diagram consisting of three circles, labeling each to correlate with one of the drawings below. You can use the Venn diagram on this page as reference, or print the worksheet. Using the Venn diagram, you’ll examine features that are characteristic of Wright’s architecture and traditional Venetian architecture, and how Wright sought underlying patterns to design a building that was uniquely of his own creation while still respecting the history of the site.

Anderton Court Shop

Masieri Memorial

Classic Venetian buildings

1. Look at the Anderton Court Shop drawing. What are some of the most distinct features of this building? Try to notice repeated patterns, shapes, and design elements. Write those features in the Anderton Court Shop bubble.

2. Repeat step one with the Masieri Memorial and the example of Venetian buildings. Be sure to write the features in their spaces in the diagram.

3. Now, after finding the unique features of each building, try to find similarities among the buildings. Are there similarities between the Anderton Court Shop and the Masieri Memorial, between the Masieri Memorial and Venetian building, and between Anderton Court Shop and the Venetian building? Are there similarities among all three.

4. Now that you’ve completed the diagram, draw a building that includes features that are shared by all three of the buildings.

 

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS ACTIVITY

 

This activity originally appeared in the winter 2019 issue of the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly magazine, “Beyond Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright in Postwar Italy.”

 

We use Frank Lloyd Wright’s revolutionary design concepts and buildings at Taliesin West to educate and inspire people of all ages, challenging them to understand and embrace innovation in their own lives. We offer a wide variety of fun and educational field trips, summer art & architecture camps, and more.

 

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