Our West Midlands Architect Firm Loves the Works of Architect Frank Lloyd Wright

At Johnson Design Partnership, our building and construction design firm recognise the astounding amount of work and dedication that someone commits to a project they undertake, whether that be in their own personal field or elsewhere.

The concept of praising another’s life and legacy isn’t something that our West Midlands architects shy away from, after all, there’s no harm in taking inspiration from others and aiming to inspire yourself. On that note, it’s time to take a look at the lifetime and lasting legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright and the impact he had on the wider world.


planning drawings

planning drawings


Contact us today to speak to one of our advisors and start your journey – 01746 768191

Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin on June 8th, 1867, and died on April 9th 1959. It’s unsurprising to note that Wright himself was also not just a building and construction design architect, but a writer, and teacher too. Over a 70-year period, Wright would design and create planning drawings for more than 1000 structures. He was integral to architectural movements of the twentieth century.

In 1886 Wright attended the University of Wisconsin, however, left without taking a degree. Wright was granted an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the university in 1955, though. In 1886 Wright collaborated with the Chicago architectural firm of Joseph Lyman Silsbee and in 1887, moved Chicago in search of employment. Whilst working with JLS in Chicago, Wright also worked on family projects, one for his uncle and another for two of his aunts.  By 1890, Wright had his own office at Adler and Sullivan’s architect firm. During the next few years, Wright worked on Sullivan’s bungalow (1890) and the James A. Charnley bungalow (1890), as well as the Berry-MacHarg House (1891), James A. Charnley House (1891), and the Louis Sullivan House (1892). In less than a decade Wright had proven he was able to keep himself firing on all cylinders and only a decade later in 1901 it’s believed he’d completed over fifty projects.

After leaving Adler & Sullivan, Wright established his own architect firm in Chicago. In 1896, Wright moved from the Schiller Building to the nearby and newly completed Steinway Hall building. Between 1894 and the early 1910s, several other leading Prairie School architects and many of Wright’s future employees would find their careers kickstarted here. Not only was Wright keeping busy with planning drawings, but he was also inspiring a new wave of architects.

During this period Wright’s planning drawings had either his signature style of emphasis on simple geometry and horizontal lines, or a focus on more traditional dwellings. These included the Bagley House (1894), Moore House I (1895), and the Charles E. Roberts House (1896). Even when having to stick to a clients’ wants and needs, Wright managed to incorporate his own style, if only subtly. This is an aspect our West Midlands architect firm aims to include in our projects too. We have respect for our clients, whilst showcasing our talent and skills too.

Wright did collaborate with other architects on building and construction designs. The home he’d been living in for nearly two decades was open to students to work and study in. Say what you will about his temperament, the man clearly inspired others who would also go on to be brilliant in their own rights.


West Midlands architect


Contact us today to speak to one of our advisors and start your journey – 01746 768191

Shaking up and reimagining the design process of housing and communities was a big focus of Wright’s work. To many, he’s known as the pioneer of the Prairie School movement of architecture, whilst also being the one to develop the concept of the Usonian home. Not content with just focusing on housing and community projects though, Wright also designed original and innovative offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, museums, and other commercial projects. Our architect firm is constantly trying to bring innovation and creativity to community building and construction design projects too so that the community can be catered for.

Wright’s ideas began to receive interest and garnered commissions in the early 1900s.  Whilst in Buffalo he designed the Darwin D. Martin House (1904), the William R. Heath House (1905), and the Walter V. Davidson House (1908). These and a few other projects Wright completed around this time became known to European architects, leaving a notable impression on them- particularly following the First World War. They say war leads to many innovations, and with the sad reality of all that was destroyed in the First World War, it’s no surprise that Wright was firing on all cylinders and had projects a plenty to work on.

Many of the residential designs of this era that Wright completed were known as ‘prairie houses’. These houses often featured several, or a combination of the following design aspects: one or two stories with one-story projections, open floor spaces, low-pitched roofs, strong horizontal lines, plenty of windows, a prominent central chimney, built-in cabinets that were highly stylised for the time, and a wide use of natural materials (particularly stone and wood).

The inclusion of natural materials and large open spaces, complemented by lots of glass, all fed into what Wright referred to as ‘organic architecture’. If he was still around today, you can bet that eco-friendly groups would probably be big fans. Our West Midlands architect firm can certainly blend nature and the domestic into a single space.

By now, it won’t surprise you to hear that Wright just kept on going and going, and by the time World War 2 loomed on the horizon, dozens of projects had been completed. Of particular note for his public buildings and projects in this era include; the Larkin Administration Building (1905); the Geneva Inn (1911); the Midway Gardens (1913); the Banff National Park Pavilion (1914); the Imperial Hotel (1923); the Millard House (1923); the Ennis House (1923); the Samuel Freeman House (1923); the Arizona Biltmore Hotel (1927); the Malcolm Willey House (1934); and the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs First House (1937). If you think that seems like a big shopping list, just imagine having to source all the resources for each project!


building and construction design


Contact us today to speak to one of our advisors and start your journey – 01746 768191

Some of the projects listed above included a design process that Wright would be known for that came to be recognised as ‘Usonian houses’. The influence was huge and is often a commonplace way of designing American homes in the modern day. Open-plan spaces are the name of the game, with a fireplace as a point of focus. Bedrooms tend to be relatively smaller than other living spaces, to encourage interaction in the larger areas. Whilst they may have individuality to them, You will certainly see such design principles in the work of our West Midlands architect firm in our residential projects. We think that interaction amongst others is important to maintaining healthy relationships, and to see this as a family home is even more so. Designing our building and construction design projects in such a way is in part due to this communal notion set forth by Wright.

With such a jam-packed career, it’s unsurprising to note that various accolades and other notable things came to be recognised for the life and labours of Wright. These included a Gold Medal Award from The Royal Institute of British Architects (1941). The AIA Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects (1949), the Franklin Institute’s Frank P. Brown Medal (1953), honorary degrees from several universities and status as an honorary board member to various national academies of art and/or architecture.

Wright had operas, plays, and songs created in honour of his life, he was put on coins and stamps, and has had numerous books examining his works. Exhibitions of his projects can be found all over the world, roads have been named after him and several of his projects are now world heritage sites- not bad, Mr Wright, not bad at all.

There are far, far too many projects of Wright’s to list in a single article, lest this turn into a thesis of epic proportions. The bottom line is Wright was certainly a talented, creative, imaginative, influential, and innovative architect and designer. Whether he was the most pleasant individual remains largely irrelevant in regard to just how much work and the influence on architecture he had. With that in mind, he’s certainly an individual one can look up to and take inspiration from. Wherever in nature you’ve ended up, Mr Wright- here’s to you.

building and construction design


Contact us today to speak to one of our advisors and start your journey – 01746 768191

32 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reviews