Building a Better Understanding of Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture Through Four Iconic Designs

Frank Lloyd Wright inspired generations of architects, not only with his designs, but in his approach to every project.

In nearly seventy years of active architectural design and building projects, Wright drew on many schools of thought and was inspired by people, places, and things as disparate as Mayan art, farming, and concrete.

Wright's influence was wide and deep. His work informed suburban designs in the pre- and post-World War I US, inspired avant-garde art movements across the globe, had a lasting impact on the modern workspace and corporate interactions, and challenged more than a few building codes and building inspectors!

The Wright Stuff Collection includes detailed scale models kits of four of his most iconic buildings.

Models from a Modern Master of Architecture and Design

The Guggenheim Museum, Unity Temple, Johnson Wax Complex, and Jacobs I, the first Usonian home, are but a sampling of Wright's extensive career and undeniable influence on architecture, and some would say, on modern life.

While his work can be categorized in various styles, each project was unique thanks to Wright’s personal conviction that buildings are necessarily part of the landscape, and that the individual use and intent of each structure must be considered from the very beginning of the design process. This is one reason why “organic architecture” is a label that's often applied to his work.

The Wright Stuff Collection: Building on FLW's Inspiration and Influence 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Completed in 1959, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum appears on almost every list of 20th century architectural icons. Sadly, Wright died just months before the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Guggenheim Museum model New York

In the architectural scale model, the swirling main building is fashioned from light Aspen wood and the newer tower of American Cherry. With only 62 pieces in this 1:500 scale kit, most Model Landmark builders say the stunning beauty can be completed in just about 3 hours. 

Unity Temple

Completed in 1908, Unity Temple was almost certainly a project to which Wright felt a strong personal connection. The building replaced the original temple, which was destroyed in a fire; it was the same temple where Wright and his mother attended worship services. It is also one of the rare public buildings that was constructed in Wright’s Prairie Style.

The 1:250 scale model is comprised of 190 pieces, with tremendously detailed features including the signature exterior columns, flat roof, extensive skylights, and the famous quote engraved over the entrance: "For the worship of god and the service of man."

S.C. Johnson Wax Complex

Construction of the S.C. Johnson & Son Company worldwide headquarters and administration buildings started in 1936 and was completed in 1950. The project not only pushed the envelop of building design and materials (lily pads and concrete!), it also helped define the style and culture of the modern workplace.

The Streamline Modern 1:500 scale model is constructed of a mix of light and dark woods, highlighting the interplay between Wright’s unique brick and stone shapes, while clear elements in the tower mirror the building’s unique glass tubing. In spite of the model’s detail, the building project is well within reach of a beginning model builder.

Jacobs I (Usonian)

Completed in 1937, Jacobs I is considered the first Usonian home. Frank Lloyd Wright intended his Usonians to be affordable architecture; Jacobs I reportedly resulted from a challenge to build a home for under $5,000. But Wright didn’t scrimp on design - the homes are beautiful and stay true to the architect’s conviction that buildings should not sit on the land, but should be of the land.

The homes’ open floor plans and abundance of windows that invite natural light inside remain popular – in fact, while many Usonians are happily occupied by full-time residents today, others are available for rent across the US.

The detailed 1:100 scale model is comprised of just 148 pieces, and is recommended for model builders age 15 and up. Even professional architects will appreciate the details, inside and out, which include exterior brick and siding modeled to scale, site contours modeled to show the home’s connection to the earth, and, peaking through the windows in the finished model, a view of the home’s central fireplace.

To gain a hands-on appreciation of these very special Frank Lloyd Wright designs, order The Wright Stuff Collection today. 

Wright Stuff architectural model collection

We're sure you'll enjoy the building experience! 

This special collection includes all required parts and clear, easy to follow instructions for each of the Frank Lloyd Wright scale model buildings pictured here. All you’ll need to provide is a good quality wood glue, a knife to remove individual parts from their sheets, and a flat work surface to construct the model. An appreciation of architecture and love of building is optional, but highly recommended. Order now!