comments 2

Frank Lloyd Wright hated tall people

I have been in a few of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses and in every case it turned out like this:

The Prairie School (of architecture), for which Wright was a pioneer, was all about horizontality. That typically meant flat roofs, deep overhangs and, in the case of Wright’s work, exceptionally low ceiling heights.

I’m about 6’3”. Many of his clear heights were less than 7’ and I believe his doorways were often 6’2”. This clearly doesn’t work for me, but it mattered for what Wright was trying to do. And I don’t think he was the type to worry about small matters like the comfort of tall people.

The above photos were taken at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. Wright bought the land (495 acres) in 1937, and turned it into both his winter home and a teaching studio.

Apparently Wright paid $3.50 per acre at the time, which feels like a pretty good deal to me. It shows you the power of just buying and holding things over long periods of time.

Today, Taliesin West is the home base of Wright’s foundation and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I’m glad I was able to finally visit it after reading about it for so many years in architecture school.

2 Comments

  1. Nancy

    Didn’t FLW purposely drop the height of the doorways to make one bow to enter. A design strategy that he learned from his residence in Japan.

    Liked by 1 person

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