What is Organic Architecture?
ecological + individual = organic
While Organic Architecture does describe environmental concerns, it also embodies the human spirit, transcending the mere act of shelter into something which shapes and enhancesour lives.
While Organic Architecture does describe an expression of individuality, it also explores our need to connect to Nature.
Using Nature as our basis for design, a building or design must grow, as Nature grows, from the inside out. Most architects design their buildings as a shell and force their way inside. Nature grows from the idea of a seed and reaches out to its surroundings. A building thus, is akin to an organism and mirrors the beauty and complexity of Nature.
Understanding the systems of Nature, Eric Corey Freed regards each design as an organism and each component as an interrelated extension of that organism. He designs the proper organism for its environment in accord with the relationships of each piece to the whole, and the whole to the surroundings. Through an extensive interviewing process, Eric begins to shape this new creature and provides the biology. The clients are an integral piece of this development as they are the the true designers of their building.
Through this process we feel our clients are “designing their autobiography.”
The result produces unique and original forms that reflect the personality and needs of the client that also happen to be environmentally friendly. With a tendency toward natural forms and materials, these buildings often resemble organic creatures or plants, but are wholly new and inventive. This creative approach to design results in the opportunity to create an autobiography for yourself which lives in harmony with its surroundings and the environment.
WHERE DID THE TERM COME FROM?
The term “Organic Architecture” was invented by the great architect, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959).
“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…”
Frank Lloyd Wright, An Organic Architecture, 1939
Frank Lloyd Wright used the word “organic” to describe his philosophy of architecture. It was an extension of the teachings of his mentor, Louis Sullivan, whose slogan “form follows function” became the mantra of modern architecture. Wright changed this phrase to “form and function are one,” claiming Nature as the ultimate model.
Although the word “organic” is now used as a buzzword for something that occurs naturally, when connected to architecture, it takes on a new meaning. Organic Architecture is not a style of imitation, but rather, a reinterpretation of Nature’s principles to build forms more natural than nature itself.
Just as in Nature, Organic Architecture involves a respect for natural materials (wood should look like wood), blending into the surroundings (a house should be of the hill, not on it), and an honest expression of the function of the building (don’t make a bank look like a Greek temple).
The Philosophy of Organic architecture continues today through the work of hundreds of students of Mr. Wright.