Wright’s Principles

Wright’s Principles

Over the breadth of his career, Wright developed a set of design principles that he descried as “solidly basic to my sense and practice of architecture.” Articulated in both his words and his work, these principles have been enthusiastically adopted by later generations of architects or solidly rejected in equal measure.

Kinship of Building to the Ground

In any and every case, the character of the site is the beginning of the building that aspires to architecture.


We know that the interpretation of life is the true function of the architect, because we know that buildings are made for life, to be lived in and to be lived in happily, designed to contribute to that living joy and living beauty.


To qualify this common-sense desire for shelter as most significant feature of architecture is now in organic architecture of greatly increased importance.


In general, structure now becomes an affair from the inside outward instead of from the outside inward.


Properly focused upon needs of twentieth century life, new uses of livable space will continually evolve, improved; more exuberant and serene.


The building living before us now as an organism (twentieth century) may only be seen by experience within the actual structure.

Tenuity + Continuity

…both support and supported may now-by means of inserted and welded steel strand […] be plaited and united as one physical body: ceilings and walls made one with floors and reinforcing each other by making them continue into one another. This continuity is made possible by the tenuity of steel.


Each material may become a happy determinant of style; to use any one material wrongly is to abuse the integrity of the whole design.


A new sense of beauty seen in the machine age, characteristic of direct simplicity of expression, is awakening in art to create a new world, or better said, to create the world anew.

Character is Natural

Poetic tranquility instead of a more deadly “efficiency,” should be the consequence in the art of Building: concordant, sane, exuberant, and appropriate to use.

Additional Resources

Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Frank Lloyd Wright Trust