From the ocean liner appurtenances of Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye to Louis Kahn's floating concert hall, Point Counterpoint II, nautical vessels have figured significantly into the history of modern architecture. But before Le Corbusier or Kahn's celebration of boats as the ultimate expression of "form follows function," Frank Lloyd Wright referenced them in his work of the Prairie era.
|Rendering of the Robie House|
|Detail of Martin master bedroom|
A metaphorical interpretation of the Martin plan would hold that the buildings are shiplike...Understood as a vessel, the Martin House "steams" eastward, "driven" by Darwin's office at the west end of the main floor, its bow (the east porch) breasting a wave of flowers (the floricycle designed by Walter Burley Griffin, later redesigned as a semicircular pool) in the vast "sea" of lawn in the southeast quadrant of the lot. The destination of Darwin's metaphorical vessel is the village of Clayville in central New York, the site of Darwin's fondest childhood memories and of his mother's grave. Delta's house is poised, tuglike, to assist, just as she had assisted Darwin through his most difficult early years in Buffalo... (Quinan, p. 188).
|Detail, north end of conservatory|
|Nike on "prow" in conservatory|