he Larkin building was a building that was built for the administrative staff of the Larkin Soap Manufacturing Company, actually for their mail order business and so it was really a secretarial pool type space. And what Wright was trying to do in that was to create a modern building that would give the workers a sense of what he called a family gathering place.
And what he did there, which I think is really astounding and unfortunately its gone now as many know...is the fact that the interior is opened up into what, today, we would call an atrium-like space which in effect does for the office building what the hearth or the fireplace did for the family home. Thats to say, provide a sense of focus. Here, the focus being a space of commonality, the space of community as opposed to the hearth in the house which is a kind of traditional symbol of home.