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Organic Architecture Concepts is What, Actually?

Many times we are hearing about different types of architectural concepts. And organic architecture is one of the popular concepts in now a day. But, the knowledge of other organic architecture characteristics and examples are in detail.

Origins of Organic Architecture

The term ‘organic architecture was first coined by renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who described his naturally integrated approach as a new architectural paradigm. Wright was a keen observer of the natural world, so he found inspiration in the styles and processes related to nature in order to build a thriving yet sustainable ecosystem.

Wright was born in simple rural Wisconsin and spent his teenage years working on his uncle’s farm, which fascinated him with its natural vibrancy—varied domesticated crops, untouched wooded areas and the open spaces of a river valley of Wisconsin. It was here that Wright discovered what he later coined “organic architecture”

Organic Architecture Concepts of Building and Site:

Actually, any building and its site or surroundings have a special relationship in the fundamental of organic architecture. The organic building derives its foam or influences its functionality from the nature of the site. And the site should elaborate by their building.

Sometimes this phenomenon is done by similarity, But, sometimes by contrast with their nature like Fallingwater and a forest glen.

Mainly we see two types of organic architecture concepts.

  1. In natural settings like Usonian houses, the buildings may open out.

  2. In urban settings like the Larkin and Johnson Wax Buildings, the buildings turn inward.

The organic building grows out of the landscape as naturally as any plant. Its relationship to the site is so unique. That’s why; it would be out of place elsewhere.

The essence of Organic Architecture

Organic architecture is often seen as a translation of Wright’s “all-inclusive” idea of organic design. Materials, structures, motifs, and ordering principles, in general, tend to repeat themselves throughout the building, making them more holistic and intentional.

The idea of organic architecture is concerned not only with the building’s literal relationship to nature but also with how the design of the building is implemented to foster unification of the building with nature as a “unified organism”.

Organic architecture is reflected in every element of the building—from windows to doors and even floors and furniture. Every component seems to relate to one another, reflecting nature’s symbiotic ordering. By blending interiors and exteriors and maintaining a harmonic ambience, organic architecture strives for the unification of the human habitat with nature.

Fundamental Proportion and Scale in Organic Building Concepts:

As we know that human body or human proportion is the best measurement scale for any building and its furnishings. And World-famous architect FLW says;

“Integral harmony of proportion to the human figure; to have all details so designed as to make the human relationship to architecture not only convenient but charming.”

So, the building proportion is creating with consideration of their user or their body proportion. Also, furnishing items of that building respond to the user of that space as per their body scale. That is the perfect scale and proportion concept of organic building.

Modernist Approach to Organic Design

Present-day architects have a complementary—but sometimes competing—view on organic architecture. The organic design by modernist architects like Louis Sullivan, Eugene Tsui, Paul Lafooley, Hans Scharoun etc. stands out from the original organic designs proposed by Wright.

The modern form often involves the use of new forms of concrete and cantilever trusses. Without using visible pillars or beams, architects can now create those iconic swooping arches. Buildings designed using modern organic design are never just linear but are instead full of wavy lines and curved shapes to match the natural ambience. The Sydney Opera House is a quintessential example of this.

The role of Nature in Organic Design:

Nature is an architect’s school. The creative exploration and possibilities of form, colour, pattern, texture, proportion, rhythm, and growth are all demonstrated in nature.

Organic architecture is not directly connected to nature but is concerned with natural materials, the site, and the people who will occupy the buildings.

Organic Architecture Language Concept:

In this world, each building has its own architectural style or language. Architectural styles are the distinct vocabulary of pattern and form.

It is very important that all elements of the building from The smallest detail to the overall form speaks the same design language.

In the organic architecture language concept, the building grammar may be completely different for the two buildings. Although both organically design and follow the fundamental concepts of organic design like the Johnson Wax Building versus Taliesin West.

Ornamental Decoration Ideas in Organic design:

Not all organic architecture has ornamental decorations. But when used, it is developed as an integral part of the material and facade treatment. Not just copy and paste applications.

Organic Design Decoration Examples are patterns cast in concrete or carved in stone, leaded glass panels, and tile or glass mosaics.

Organic Architecture of Singapore/ Image © Shane

Human Values in Organic Architecture Concepts:

“All values are human values or else not valuable”, said Wright.

Human use and comfort should have intimate possession of every interior—should be felt in every exterior.

The concept of Mechanical Systems and Furnishings Details:

These are an integral part of the organic building: They are not added on, stuck in or unduly exposed. Sculpture and painting have to become elements of the total design. Furniture should be built in as much as possible.

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