larkin building
larkin building
critical response
parallel movements
wright at the time
other works
larkin building: exterior
larkin building

ike the Prairie houses, the Larkin Building reveals Wright’s interest in the built environment as a fully-designed work of art. The architect designed desks, chairs, lights and windows specifically for the building, with each part eloquently taking its place within the complete ensemble.

The Larkin Building also represents a technological advance. It is one of the first air-conditioned buildings in America. Cooled and filtered air was provided to protect the building’s important documents from the coal soot emitted by nearby rail lines and factories.

Along with the Unity Temple (1904-1906) the Larkin Building displays Wright’s maturing style in the first decade of the century. Prairie horizontality and expansiveness is traded for verticality and massiveness appropriate to its corporate function and urban, industrial site.

“Frank Lloyd Wright had earned a reputation as a builder of handsome and innovative private houses, but he still longed for the kind of large-scale commissions prized by every architect...”
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