Saturday, May 18, 2013
Wright can be portrayed as a tragic hero because he was very talented in the architectural world but suffered a lack of clients. He was world famous yet notorious.
Another tragic hero is Louis Kahn (1901-1974). Kahn is undeniably one of the greatest modern architects. Kahn's architectural style was bold and pure. He re-introduced monumentality into modern architecture. Unfortunately, he had very few completed works and he died deeply in debt.
Kahn’s known works include the National Assembly Building in Bangladesh and Salk Institute Biological Research Centre.
Wright had three wives and one mistress who was previously his clients’ wife. One may consider this “immoral” and this caused many of his clients to flee from him. The poor wife of Wright and their six children were left abandoned and with a large amount of debt.
Three Widows and a funeral
Kahn juggled three women in his life simultaneously. Just managing to cope with three women and families alone would have been difficult not to mention the bankruptcy he often faced.. In addition to these long-term relationships, Kahn often had numerous girlfriends.
When he was three years old, Kahn was caught in a fire and consequently, suffered a face disfigurement. He was not your typical attractive and indulgent womaniser. He served to prove that architects share three common features; poverty, artistic quirkiness and lust.
Both of Kahn’s mistresses were his staff members. One was a building architect while the other was a landscape architect. Kahn fathered children with both women but did not do much to support their upbringing.
It was only at Kahn’s funeral where all three women met for the very first time. Kahn's wife sent word through friends that neither her husband's other children nor their mothers were welcome at Kahn's funeral. They showed up anyway, and were given seats at the rear of the funeral parlor. This funeral scene could be taken straight out of a soap opera.
Kahn's wife was a medical researcher and she even used her income to assist Kahn’s architecture firm. Kahn even resorted to moving in to his mother-in-law’s house to save money.
The mistress, who was also a building architect, was named Anne Tyng. She was also an interesting figure. In 1920, who was born in Lushan, China. In 1942 she became the first woman to ever be admitted into the Harvard School of Architecture. Her professor at the time was Gropius. Later, Tyng became the only female registered architect in Pennsylvania. Tyng is also considered to be a huge influence and contributor to many of Kahn's works.
In 2003, the son of the landscape architect shoot a documentary called My Architect, which described his pursuit to track down his long-absent father.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Wright lived a legendary life with his Falling Water referred as "the United States’ Greatest Building". In 1991, the American Institute of Architects named Wright “America’s Greatest Architect”.
On the other hand, Phillip Johnson, another architect, sarcastically named Wright “America’s Greatest Architect of the 19th Century”, implying that Wright’s fame would not last into the 20th century.
The Taliesin Massacre
Wright was not only known for his architectural works. His private life was enough to make headlines on its own. In fact, the Taliesin tragedy could be made into a Hollywood horror film. This tragedy involved his self-designed dream house: the Taliesin. It occurred on August 15, 1914, when Wright was on a business trip.
Wright had abandoned his wife and six children for his client's wife, Mamah. This relationship made him notorious and as a consequence, he lost many customers. Julian Carlton was a newly hired worker who had a dispute with Mamah before the incident. However, his real motive for the massacre remains unknown.
During breakfast, Carlton suddenly took an axe, and chopped Mamah, followed by Mamah’s 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter. After the attack, Carlton set fire to the corpses and the blaze started to spread. However, Carlton persisted and turned to attack the other employees. People attempted to escape, but all the doors and windows were locked. Out of the nine people, only two people (some believe three) were lucky enough to break windows to escape.