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March 7, 2008

Wright On

Tucked-away in the middle of the county Wicklow town of Greystones is a newly built house of unusual architectural significance. Built in 2007, the house, a remarkable two storey modernist affair, was completed a full forty eight years after the death of its designer, Frank Lloyd Wright. Born in Wisconsin in the United States in 1867, Frank Lloyd Wright is surely one of the best-known historical figures in architecture. Now seen as America’s greatest architect and a titan of modernism, it’s easy to forget that Wright had a turbulent career, coming in and out of favour with blistering intensity. Like his European modernist contemporaries Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Wright is an architect not only revered by his profession but also well-known to the public at large. Le Corbusier’s work has come in for some criticism for its alleged ‘dehumanising’ properties – Wright’s greatest contribution appears to have been to have combined the clean, rationality and democratic aspirations of modernism with architecture of a form and on a scale that humans can relate to. Unlike Le Corbusier, no-one ever describes a Wright building as totalitarian. In part it appears to have been his humanism that appealed to Marc Coleman, the proud owner of Europe’s only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building, completed in late 2007 in Greystones: “It was so futuristic but also so human. Frank Lloyd Wright is the only deceased architect whose work people are still building,” he explains.

Construct Ireland

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