Frank Lloyd Wright Trust Visitor and Education Center Info < 8 of 9 >

The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio campus tells a compelling story whose continued relevance is testified by the many visitors who make the pilgrimage each year. Each new intervention is an installment in this narrative—Anna’s house, then the original Wright home, the studio and each subsequent addition added a new chapter to the story. Our proposal for the visitor center seeks to add a Foreword to the story, to help explain and enhance our understanding and appreciation of its history, but not compete with the story itself. The design takes as its point of departure the garden wall which surrounds the site and binds all the chapters of history together like the jacket of a book. This wall, which has evolved many times over its lifespan, currently ends at the east property line like an unfinished sentence. We propose to extend this wall along the east and south property lines to complete it and define the campus. The visitor center becomes part of this garden wall, a discreet presence foregrounding the existing buildings on the site, more part of the site infrastructure than a competing architectural element. The visitor center is low and horizontal, alluding to the horizontality of the prairie which Wright’s work made famous; its roof aligning with the stone string course of the Wright Studio. Recessed from the street and sunk down from street level, the visitor center is approached through a garden which doubles as seating for large events.