Organic Architecture is a term Frank Lloyd Wright used to describe his approach to architectural design. The philosophy grew from the ideas of Frank Lloyd Wright's mentor, Louis Sullivan, who believed that "form follows function." Wright argued that "form and function are one."
Organic architecture strives to integrate space into a unified whole. Frank Lloyd Wright was not concerned with architectural style, because he believed that every building should grow naturally from its environment.
From An Organic Architecture, 1939, by Frank Lloyd Wright:
"So here I stand before you preaching organic architecture: declaring organic architecture to be the modern ideal and the teaching so much needed if we are to see the whole of life, and to now serve the whole of life, holding no 'traditions' essential to the great TRADITION. Nor cherishing any preconceived form fixing upon us either past, present or future, but - instead - exalting the simple laws of common sense - or of super-sense if you prefer - determining form by way of the nature of materials..."
Modernist Approaches to Organic Design:In the later half of the twentieth century, Modernist architects took the concept of organic architecture to new heights. By using new forms of concrete and cantilever trusses, architects could create swooping arches without visible beams or pillars.
Modern organic buildings are never linear or rigidly geometric. Instead, wavy lines and curved shapes suggest natural forms.
- Taliesin West in Arizona exemplifies Frank Lloyd Wright's theories of organic architecture
- Parque Güell and many other works by Antoni Gaudí have been called organic
- The Sydney Opera House by Jørn Utzon is a modernist approach to organic architecture
- Dulles International Airport and many other works by Eero Saarinen have swooping, wing-like roofs
- The World Trade Center Transportation Terminal by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava also represents a modernist approach to organic architecture