Monday, June 09, 2008

Give me the luxuries of life...

From The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor: (LISTEN to this newsletter)

It's the birthday of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, born in Richland Center, Wisconsin (1867). He believed in designing houses that were in harmony with their environmental surroundings and said, "No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other."

The houses he designed were usually low to the ground, hugging the earth, with a large fireplace and a small kitchen. Often, instead of interior walls, he would use furniture to separate living spaces. He loved to use glass and incorporate lots of natural light. In his early homes, his glass windows featured geometrical designs and colored lines; in later models, when technology allowed working with large sheets of glass, he would sometimes replace whole exterior walls with glass. He also took special care in designing carpets, choosing geometric patterns that were played a significant role in the floor plan.

Late in his career, he turned to commercial projects - including designing furniture and creating wallpapers, carpets, and paint colors for major American companies. He also designed model homes that were featured in Life magazine and Ladies Home Journal.

He once said, "Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities."