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"Unconsciousness is the depth dimension of consciousness " Rollo May

Unconscious is a Jungian term used for the subconscious. Mr. Wright used the term depth dimension to describe what he means by architectural space. I see the connection here. The depth dimension goes beyond the third dimension into the realm of the imagination. This is what we Organic types are trying to achieve in our architectural design.   James Schidroth, Architect


By Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

Page 224 A Testament 1957

"To sum up, organic architecture sees the third dimension never as weight or mere thickness but always as depth.  Depth an element of space; the third (or thickness) dimension transformed to a space dimension.  A penetration of the inner depths of space in spaciousness becomes architectural and valid motif in design.  With this concept of depth interpenetrating depths comes flowering a freedom in design which architects have never known before but which they may now employ in their designs as a true liberation of life and light within walls; a new structural integrity; outside coming in; and the space within, to be lived in, going out.    Space outside becomes a natural part of space within the building.  All building design thus actually becomes four-dimensional and renders more static than ever the two- dimensional effects of the old static post and girder, beam and box frame type of construction, however novel they seem to be made.  Walls are now apparent more as humanized screens.  They do define and differentiate, but never confine or obliterate space.   A new sense of reality in building construction has arrived.

     Now a new liberation may be the natural consequence in every building exterior.  The first conscious expression of which I know in modern architecture of this new reality - the "space within to be lived in" - was Unity Temple in Oak Park.  True harmony and economic elements of beauty were consciously planned and belong to this new sense of space-within.  The age-old philosophy of Laotze is alive in architecture.  In every part of the building freedom is active.   Space the basic element in architectural design.

   This affirmation, due to the new sense of "the space within" as reality, came from the original affirmative negation (the great protestant) 1904, the Larkin Building of Buffalo- now demolished.  Here came the poetic principle of freedom itself as a new revelation in architecture.  This new freedom that was first consciously demonstrated in Unity Temple, Oak Park (1906) as written in 1927 for AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY.   With this new principle at work in our American architecture came a new sense of style as innate.   A quality natural to the act and art of modern habitation:  no longer applied by "taste."  (Again: "Such as the life is , such is the form" - Coleridge gives us perhaps a better slogan than Form Follows Function.)   For Americans as for all shades and shapes of human beings everywhere "style" becomes generic: poetic expression of character.   Style is intrinsic-or it is false.   As a characteristic of " the space within to be lived in" - the life of style is perpetually fresh."



Contrary to popular belief, the third   dimension is not thickness but depth.  The term “third dimension” is used in organic architecture to indicate the sense of depth which issues as of the thing not on it.  The third dimension, depth, exists as intrinsic to the building.

Page 323 THE FUTURE OF ARCHITECTURE By Frank Lloyd Wright

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  • P O Box 275,     18 LEE STREET STUDIO
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Built Projects | Unbuilt Projects | History | Essays | ServicesJWS HOME

  • P. O. Box 275-----STUDIO AT 18 LEE STREET
  • WISCASSET, MAINE 04578-0275
  • 207-882-6305