Legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed over 1,100 structures over the course of his lifetime, but casual enjoyers of his work might be surprised to learn that over half of them — 660, to be exact — remain unbuilt and unseen by the public.
However, a collaboration between Spanish architect David Romero and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation aims to change all that. Romero first worked with the late architect’s namesake foundation in 2018 to create six 3D renderings of what Wright’s unbuilt or demolished projects would’ve looked like had they been built or rebuilt.
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Now, Romero and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation have come together to create three more 3-D renderings of Wright’s unseen designs, all of which were published in the most recent issue of the foundation’s official print magazine, The Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly. You can check these new additions out below.
The Illinois also happens to be one of Wright’s most well-known unbuilt works. The mile-high, hypothetical Chicago skyscraper would’ve stood 5,280 feet and 528 floors tall — a.k.a. four times taller than New York City’s Empire State Building, which was the tallest skyscraper in the world at the time. At the time, Wright proclaimed that “the Empire State Building would be a mouse by comparison.”
The National Life Insurance Building
This 25-story glass tower featured four identical wings complete with copper panels. According to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the National Life Insurance Building would’ve served as a tribute to Wright’s mentor, the “father of skyscrapers” Louis Sullivan. While many other buildings of the era were designed with historic revival details, this design prioritized natural ventilation and natural daylight through the use of light curtain wall materials.
As the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation puts it, Crystal City was “an example of mixed-use development decades ahead of its time.” The design’s series of towers — which ranged from 140 to 260 feet in height formed a U shape that would’ve included a shopping center, a hotel, apartments, a shopping center, an auditorium, and garages.