Motif SAMARA Education Series

Nature of Materials
Building on a Unit
The Owner's View
Building the Wright Way
Historic Perspectives
Manipulating the Space

Wally Rogers

Ted Osborn

John Christian

Gary Stair

Jerry Johnson

Dave Ruth


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Construction Innovations

"A building appears as of the landscape." Frank Lloyd Wright

The construction innovations of Frank Lloyd Wright had far reaching effects on producing a truly American style of architecture. From his earliest moonlighting adventures in Chicago during the 1890s to the his latest commissions of many homes across America during the 1950s, Frank Lloyd Wright was always daring and bold in his approach to designing buildings.

In this study by individuals who interpret SAMARA, major construction innovations are identified and examined. The topic of Construction Innovations was selected for study because of limited documentation that is available on Wright's construction techniques performed at actual building sites.

SAMARA, as a late Usonian residence, exhibits more than 40 of Mr. Wright's innovations in the living room of the house alone. This has allowed the participants to draw heavily on the home itself as a living example of the results Mr. Wright had in mind when he first exhibited Usonian concepts with the emergence of the Herbert Jacobs First Residence (1936).

Equally important to the study is the involvement of Dr. John Christian, a client of Frank Lloyd Wright and owner of SAMARA. In addition to providing oral histories about the house, John provided the participants access to original drawings and design plans for the construction of SAMARA.

A most valuable archived document is a 12-minute videotape showing how SAMARA was built. The videotape, originally recorded by the owner using 16 mm movie film traces the construction process from the time the lot was first bulldozed (1956) to the initial landscaping (1957) as specified by Mr. Wright.

Photographs like these were made from individual frames of the movie and scanned electronically as part of our study. This is the first time that these photographs have been made available to the general public.

In addition, several of the participants contributed photographs from their own libraries to help build our construction innovation story. Some of the photographs of SAMARA were taken specifically for this study.

Construction Innovations of Frank Lloyd Wright

Overviews of Construction Innovations
[ Nature of Materials ]   [ Building on a Unit ]   [ The Owner's View ]   [ Building the Wright Way ]
[ Historic Perspectives ]   [ Manipulating the Space ]   [ Oriental Influence ]

SAMARA Education Series Directory

Copyright 1999-2018   All rights reserved.
The John Christian Family Memorial Trust, Inc.
This page was created July 6, 1999
Revision April 17, 2001
Latest revision January 13, 2007