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Prairie Style Essay

959 words - 4 pages

The 19th century witnessed many changes taking place in America. With the political and economic prosperity of the new nation, the desire for a greater degree of cultural independence matured. Hence, the search for a quintessential domestic style manifested into an orthodox to defining American architecture in general. Originating from Chicago and spreading along the mid-western neighborhood, the Prairie Style of architecture is regarded as an extension from the Arts and Crafts Movement. The Prairie School was a name given to the movement emerging from a small group of dedicated architects with the common interest of creating a n new language of modern American architecture. This movement ...view middle of the document...

These young minds addressed his method that, 'one must go to school to nature.'
Frank Lloyd Wright opened his own office in 1893 with his first major commission for the William H. Winslow House. He recognized the Winslow House as the original statement for the Prairie style and called it his, 'first Prairie House.' The classical plan with its formal principles of tripartite divisions of base and symmetrical position of the facade, gives credit to Sullivan but Wright's own style is articulated here with the subsistence of the deep overhanging roofs (Fig. 1). The components of the house include the; the tripartite divisions of base, the breaking down of the facade, high walls, window bands and the axial placement of the central hearth (Fig. 2).

The key symbolism that depicts the Prairie style in the Winslow House was the, 'sense of shelter in the look of the building,’ where every feature of the design embodies a significant understanding. The deep overhanging planes and calm horizontal lines unify the house and site while the central fireplace literally pins the structure to the earth and creates the relationship between the hearth and the dome, portraying a sense of shelter.
As concurrent to its name, the Prairie Style is the stereotypical image of the Midwest prairie, with its extensive area of wide, flat, horizontal grassy expanse that meets at the horizon. Here Wright synthesizes the natural surroundings and translates them into his buildings, constructing his own distinct style. This different outlook transformed the manner of architecture and produced new patterns of living which would later be known as the iconic Prairie Style.
The most significant formal experience of Wright's youth that initiated the foundation of his architecture was the Froebel training which indicated his learning from nature, which then reinforced and contributed to his appreciation of nature when working at his...

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