Frank Lloyd Wright was given enormous creative freedom in designing the S.C. Johnson Wax headquarters and administrative buildings.
In spite of the fact that the two buildings were built a decade apart, that they were designed for very different types of work, and that they are distinct in their fundamental shapes, the two ultimately offer visitors a harmonious experience.
People who love architecture have been visiting the SC Johnson Wax buildings since 1939.
Streamline Moderne: Beyond the Prairie
The Administration Building was completed in 1939, and the Research Tower in 1950.
While both clearly showcase how Wright interpreted the Streamline Moderne style, they also incorporate many of Wright's trademark design elements, especially his intention to bring the natural world inside, to the built environment.
Looking in retrospect, it's amazing to see the evolution of Wright's designs from Prairie (Unity Temple 1908), through the modern (Fallingwater 1937), and into the more curvilinear style of Johnson Wax, and finally the Guggenheim Museum (1959).
Modeling a Masterpiece: Build Something Beautiful
As intricate as Wright's designs are, Little Building Co. founder and artist Marcus Bree has carefully reproduced and accurately scaled them to provide an enjoyable, informative, and rewarding experience for model builders.
The SC Johnson Wax Complex is our largest model. It is recommended for model builders ages 15 and up, although younger modelers can certainly enjoy it. Younger model builders may require a little more time than more experienced modelers, or may enjoy working on the project with another family member.
The straightforward simplified nature of the building technique will be appreciated by those new to the model building process (and experienced builders, as well).
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Experiencing the S.C. Johnson Wax Campus
Located in Racine, Wisconsin, the company campus was designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Tours of the company campus are free and a variety of experiences are available, including several films and individual as well as group tours.
While you're in the area, you may want to visit Wingspread. The 14,000-square foot Prairie Style home Wright designed for Herbert Johnson is in nearby Wind Point. (Although it was completed 30 years after Unity Temple, Wingspread recalls some of the Temple's design elements.)
Like so many of Wright's designs, the SC Johnson Company headquarters and administrative buildings are architectural icons that invite us to experience space and form in new and inspiring ways.
The SC Johnson Wax Complex model is now available, offering a hands-on experience for both new and experienced model builders.
Photo of SC Johnson Complex Tower, 1:500 scale model.