Frank Lloyd Wright

Falling Water, 1935

Born in 1867 in Wisconsin to a family of Welsh decent, Frank Lloyd Wright became America's most famous and influential architect. Although he found fame in America, his family were from Ceredigion and Welsh culture was to have a huge influence on his architecture...

Falling Water, the house Frank Lloyd Wright built for the Kaufmann family in 1935, is one of architecture's most iconic houses. A marriage of dynamic composition and integration with nature, it is strongly influenced by Japanese architecture. fforestchief says he is going to live there when he retires.

Few might know that Frank Lloyd Wright's ancestors are Welsh. His maternal family emigrated from Cardigan to Wisconsin in 1844, where Frank was born in 1867. From an early age it was clear that Frank was highly influenced by his Welsh roots. Having been christened Frank Lincoln Wright, as a teenager he decided to change Lincoln to Lloyd as a dedication to his Welsh Mother.

He designed more than 1,100 buildings in his lifetime and continued to work as an architect up until his death in 1959, aged 91. Frank ensured his Welsh heritage was represented in many of his buildings. He completed the build of his own home in 1911, which was developed on land belonging to his maternal Welsh family. He named the house 'Taliesin', after the ancient Welsh bard, and some of his other builds were adorned with the Welsh motto "Y gwir yn erbyn y byd" ("The truth against the world"). His Welsh heritage had a profound effect on his design outlook and inspired much of the organic feel of his architecture.


Frank's one and only trip to his ancestral country was made in 1956 to receive an honorary doctorate from Bangor University. He actually stayed with another world-famous architect of Welsh decent during this trip, Sir Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis, creator of the Portmeirion village near Porthmadog in North Wales. Pictured together here in 1956, the two famous architects shared a similar vision: to design buildings that lived in harmony with the natural landscape. A little bit like fforest.


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