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Architecture inspired by my clients and the challenging sites on the coast of Maine since 1970.

The process of working with a creative architect in the design of your home may be one of the most rewarding experiences you will have in life.

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The ABC’s of Organic Architecture

Additions to this page were made:  Friday, December 08, 2006

A list of words that seem to related to the principles and values of Organic Architecture.  I will add an essay linked to each of these words as I have time.   If you have questions regarding my choices or have any other words that you think should be added to this list send me an e-mail.

The ABC’s of Organic Architecture

A.      ARCHITECTURE FROM PRINCIPLE: This is Organic Architecture.  Why would you want anything else?

B.       BEAUTY  "Truth is beauty and beauty truth"  Someone once said. 

C.      COURAGE, CREATIVITY, CONTINUITY  It take great courage to be different.  An organic creation is always different and takes a bit of time to understand.  As organic architecture is experienced and lived in, the purpose of the form of the design becomes clear.  The forms and design of an organic architecture results from the needs and conditions of the client and site. 


E.       EXPRESSION OF PURPOSE  "Form follows Function"  Louis H. Sullivan, Architect.  "Form and Function are one" FLLW.

F.       FREEDOM     "Organic Architecture like freedom cannot be put on, it must be worked out from within."   FLLW page 240 Writings and Buildings.

G.     GENEROSITY:  Giving always precedes receiving.   Real giving is unconditional.  A real gift is something that the person really needs.    

H.      HARMONY:  Order:  "Therefore the first great necessity of a modern architecture is this keen sense of order as integral.   That is to say the form itself in orderly relationship with purpose or function: the parts themselves in order with the form:   the materials and methods of work in order with both: a kind of natural integrity,-the integrity of each in all and of all in each.  This is the exacting new order."  FLLW page 200 The Future of Architecture

I.        INTRINSIC, INDIGENOUS  Intrinsic is of or a part of a thing not something stuck on or applied.  Integral.  The word Intrinsic can be used in place of the word organic as it describes "Organic Architecture", or "Intrinsic Architecture"

J.       JOY:  Making architecture can be fun if both client and architect are on the same trip.   The process of working with a creative architect in the design of your home may be one of the most enjoyable experiences you will have in life.

K.       KNOWLEDGE:  The architect is the master of the knowledge.  

L.       LIGHT:  Natural sun light is what brings life to Organic Architecture.   Natural light is continuously changing moment to moment.  The Organic Architect designs with the light. 

M.     MIND:   "Where the mind goes, the energy flows" David Copeland

N.      NATURE:   We are all a part of nature so why not design buildings that are based on the beauty that we enjoy in nature.  Nature is the starting place for understanding what is beautiful to the human being.  

O.      ORGANIC, ORIGINAL:  "In organic architecture, any conception of any building as a building begins at the beginning and goes forward to incidental expression as a picture and does not begin with some incidental expression as a picture and go groping backward."  FLLW page 217 The Future of Architecture.

P.       PRINCIPLE:  Real architecture is created from the principles of life and because each client is unique the form of each design is original.  The principles for this creative expression is to be found by understanding life itself. 

Q.      QUEST for the creative idea. 

R.       REPOSE, RELATIONSHIP:  Everything in the universe is interrelationship with everything else.   "Part is to part as part is to whole." FLLW   Repose in architecture is a building that is comfortable with all the interrelationships. 

S.       SPACE,  Simplicity  

 This, I believe, is the secret of simplicity.  Perhaps we may truly regard nothing at all as simple in itself.  I believe that no one thing in itself is ever so, but must achieve simplicity (as an artist should use the term) as a perfectly realized part of some organic whole.  Only as a feature or any part becomes a harmonious element in the harmonious whole does it arrive at the estate of simplicity.  FLLW

T.       TRUTH is a divinity in architecture.  FLLW

U.      UNITY  "Part is to part as part is to whole"  FLLW  

V.      VISION:  The idea comes from within the mind.   Inner vision or Insight.


X.       EXCELLENCE  There is an "X" factor in creativity.  After understanding the conditions of client and site.   After understanding the needs and conditions their come the time when the reason must be put aside and the problem turned over to the unconscious mind.   This is where the direction for the design will come.   The right side of the human brain.   No one ever thought of a creative idea because thinking is a left brain activity and for the right side to work the left side must be distracted or turned off.  

Y.      YOUTHFULNESS:   This is a state of mind and not the number of years one has lived.   A young mind is always open to the unknown. 


James Walter Schildroth, Organic Architect, Wiscasset, Maine 04578-0275

Started June 12, 1997 and added to ever since. 

Advise to the young person in architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright

1. Forget the architecture of the world except as something good in their way and in their time.

2. Do none of you go into architecture to get a living unless you love architecture as a principle at work, for its own sake - prepared to be as true to it as to your mother, your comrade, or yourself.

3. Beware of the architectural school except as the exponent of engineering.

4. Go into the field where you can see the machines and methods at work that make the modern buildings, or stay in construction direct and simple until you can work naturally into building-design from the nature of construction.

5. Immediately begin to form the habit of thinking "Why" concerning any effects that please or displease you. 

6. Take nothing for granted as beautiful or ugly, but take every building to pieces, and challenge every feature.   Learn to distinguish the curious from the beautiful.

7. Get the habit of analysis,-analysis will in time enable syntheses to become you habit of mind.

8. "Think in simples"  as my old master (Louis H. Sullivan) used to say,-meaning to reduce the whole to its parts in simplest terms, getting back to first principles.  Do this in order to proceed from generals to particulars and never confuse or confound them or yourself be confounded by them.

9. Abandon as poison the American idea of the "quick turnover."  To get into practice "half-baked" is to sell out your birthright as an architect for a mess of pottage, or to die pretending to be an architect.

10. Take time to prepare.  Ten years' preparation for preliminaries to architectural practice is little enough for any architect who would rise "above the belt"  in true architectural appreciation or practice.

11. Then go as far away as possible from home to build your fist buildings.  The physician can bury his mistakes,-but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines.

12. Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken-house as to build a cathedral.   The size of the project means little in art, beyond the money-matter.  It is the quality of character that really counts.  Character may be large in the little or little in the large.

13. Enter no architectural competition under any circumstances except as a novice.   No competition ever gave to the world anything worth having in architecture.    The jury itself is a picked average.  The first thing done by the jury is to go through all the designs and throw out the best and the worst ones so, as an average, it can average upon an average.  The net result of any competition is an average by the average of averages.

14. Beware of the shopper for plans.  The man who will not grubstake you in prospecting for ideas in his behalf will prove a faithless client. 


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