What is Organic Architecture


Organic architecture is a branch of modern architecture which promotes harmony between man and nature, creating a new system in equilibrium between artificial and natural environment through the integration of the various artificial elements (buildings, furniture, etc.), and natural environment of the surroundings of the site. All these elements become part of a single interconnected organism, architectural space. Organic architecture means organic society.  We can summarize like this what the founder teacher and the leading exponent of this new way of conceiving the act of architecture said: Frank Lloyd Wright.

An architecture that has this leading idea, rejects the mere aesthetic research or the simple superficial taste, as well as an organic society should be independent from any external imposition contrasting with the nature of man. Therefore, independence from every kind of classicism, and interpretative freedom to deal with any subject, harmonizing it with the whole and looking for solutions that in Wright are formally perfect.

Organic architecture can recognize itself in Wright’s program for prairie houses which seems to shape the structure of the building by harmonizing it with the man and the environment around; it is the realization of the new system in equilibrium between the artificial environment and the natural environment which is the essential aim of this architecture which reaches its highest level in the works of this Master. Here are the most important points of this organic project:

– Minimize the partitions, the air and the light must permeate the whole unit realizing an architectural unit;

– Create harmony between the building and the external environment by accentuating the overhang of the horizontal surfaces of the house;

– Free the house as much as possible, making it human and livable by eliminating the concept of a closed place;

– Give logical and human proportions to internal and external openings making them naturally recurring throughout the building structure;

– Avoid combinations of different materials by using as much as possible a single material, the nature of which must bind to the building becoming an expression of its function;

– Organically incorporate the systems as inter-reacting elements in the building structure;

– Make the furniture become an integral part of the decor of the building as organic architecture with everything.

Recently, new architecture sectors respectful of nature as bioclimatic architecture, sustainable architecture, archeology, alternative architecture, ecological architecture (or bio) have brought new specialized contributions. These new “natural” tendencies seek for a new relationship with the technology appropriate to the set of reference, for example in the design, implementation and management of a green building. From this derives the term “appropriate technology”. But this research has always been the backbone of organic architecture, which can be defined as the “mother” of all the architectures that tend to the harmony between man, technology and nature.

Photo credits: www.honkatalot.fi