Constructed between 1905 and 1908, Unity Temple was Wright’s first building to use only one material for the entire structure, reinforced concrete. It was also one of the few public buildings that would be built in the Prairie Style.
In Unity Temple – as in many of his designs - Wright attempted to blur the line between nature and building, and more broadly, between the inside and the outside world. The monotone exterior, with its flat roof and overhanging eaves, is meant to blend in to its surroundings.
Meticulous details accurately convey the temple’s compact but imposing volumes, from the flat roof and overhanging eaves that cloister the building to the extensive skylights that flood its interior with gentle light. Our model uses American Cherry to highlight the design details of this unique building. The kit’s precise adherence to the architect’s design ensures your completed model is as stunningly beautiful and iconic as the original.
Rotate the model by dragging across the image!The Unity Temple kit comes with clear, easy to follow instructions and is the ideal gift for any fan of art, architecture, or Chicago’s history. It’s also a beautiful diversion for you to enjoy. It's a great model to start your collection of model landmarks (or give as a gift) and is appropriate for all model builders. This model can be completed in four to five evenings but will provide years of pleasure.
There are three options when choosing this or any of our other finely detailed models. You can purchase the kit and build it yourself, taking pride in your workmanship. Or, you may wish to purchase the kit and the Acrylic Display Case, so your build-yourself model will always remain in pristine condition. Finally, you can purchase a professionally built (Finished) kit. Professionally built models are signed by the artist and include a display case.
Materials: American Cherry, MDF and acrylic.
Model Scale 1:250
Finished Model: 10" x 6" x 3"
Our kits come complete with all required parts. You’ll need to provide a good quality PVA wood glue (white glue). You will also need a knife to remove individual parts from their sheets. Finally, you'll want a flat work surface to construct the model.
Frank Lloyd Wright, 1867 – 1959
Frank Lloyd Wright grew up in Wisconsin and left high school before graduating to work in the University of Wisconsin’s engineering department. While there, he studied civil engineering before being apprenticed to architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee. In 1887, he took up a draughtsman position with Adler and Sullivan in Chicago. There he worked under Louis Sullivan, who has been called the father of modernism and some say was the inventor of the skyscraper. In 1893, Wright left Adler and Sullivan to open his own firm. Throughout his career, Wright sought to create buildings that would open up richer possibilities for their inhabitants, a testament to his idea that all buildings should liberate the life of the individual. Because he was a parishioner of Unity Temple, designing the new space for the congregation presented an opportunity to combine his considerable professional skills, passion for spaces, and personal beliefs in one project. It’s also possible Wright was intent on impressing one particular congregation in mind: his mother was also a Unity Temple parishioner.
Wright died in Chicago on April 9, 1959, at the age of 91. Wright’s building has shown us the potential that good architecture can have, not only to reflect its present, but to shape that present and its future.
More about the Unity Temple
One of many designs created at Wright’s Oak Park Studio, Unity Temple exemplified Prairie School architecture – one of few public buildings built in that particular style. Wright designed Unity Temple in 1905 for the Unitarian Universalist congregation of Oak Park Unity Church - which included the architect and his mother - after the original building burned down.
Lacking windows at the street level, guests inside have no view of the exterior. Wright instead evoked a sense of nature by incorporating stained glass that had hues of green, yellow, and brown. Light also pours in from 25 skylights in the roof of the sanctuary, making the building’s interior feel larger than it actually is. Like many of Wright’s designs, Unity Temple is a bipartite building, with two distinct volumes that accommodate separate spaces for worship and the community at the temple.
Located on a busy main street, Unity Temple sits as a heavy mass on the site – unlike the low-slung, sprawling horizontal profiles of some of his later, signature works.
The temple was completed in 1909, shortly before Wright left Chicago. Later, he said that it marked a defining period in modern architecture.
For more than 100 years, the building has continued to be the home of the Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation. In 1971, Unity Temple was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Unity Temple was completed in 1909, shortly before Wright left Chicago.
A major restoration was completed 2017.
"Unity Temple makes an entirely new architecture — and is the first expression of it," said Wright. “That is my contribution to modern architecture."
Easy to Build
Detailed, step-by-step instructions makes your kit a pleasure to construct.
Beautifully Accurate Models
We research and study the buildings to capture the true essence in our models.
Exquisite Wood Construction
We use the finest wood components (Aspen, American Cherry, Birch, others), and manufacture and inspect all components to the highest standards.