Frank Lloyd Wright’s lesser-known designs are captured in new images

Architecture photographer Andrew Peilage has documented 50 buildings by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, including less famous projects like a church topped with a blue-domed roof, a long red barn and a wooden windmill.

As a long-time fan of the modernist architect, Phoenix-based Peilage took the images as part of an endeavour to document all of his completed works, titled Photographing Wright.

Photographing Wright by Andrew Peilage
Among the lesser-known projects shown in the series is the circular Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

With 50 under his belt so far, and over 400 to go, Peilage has already shot some of the architect’s most famous works like Fallingwater, Unity Temple and Taliesin West. But the series also spotlights Wright’s lesser-known projects.

Among these is the circular Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, which has a domed blue roof that visually echoes a pool of water in front, and blue pews inside.

Photographing Wright by Andrew Peilage
The red-hued Midway Barn was built to house farm animals on the grounds of Wright’s home and studio Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin

Also featured in the set are the red-hued Midway Barn, built to house farm animals on the grounds of Wright’s home and studio Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and the Romeo and Juliet windmill a little further south – a wooden tower-like structure designed by the architect in 1896 for the school where two of his aunts worked.

Other rare views include an interior of the 1905 Thomas P Hardy House in Wisconsin, Racine – one of Wright’s earliest experiments with his Prairie style, based on the landscapes of America’s Midwest.

Photographing Wright by Andrew Peilage
Wright built the wooden Romeo and Juliet water tower for his aunts

Although Wright’s work has been extensively documented in the 1900s by various American photographers, Peilage hopes his new series will offer an unseen glimpse of the buildings as they look today.

“Photographers like Pedro Guerrero and Ezra Stollar captured them so beautifully years ago but there has not been a comprehensive photographic study of Wright buildings since,” he said.

“I would hope one aspect of this project will be just that, more of a documentary side to it.”

Photographing Wright by Andrew Peilage
The Thomas P Hardy House in Wisconsin, Racine – one of Wright’s earliest experiments with his Prairie style – also features in the series

The photographer aims to showcase as many interiors as possible, as Wright is well-known for completing most of the furnishings of the projects.

To achieve this, he uses a tilt-shift lens, which provides perspective control, and takes lots of images that he later pieces together in using Photoshop software.

Peilage said this is the first time the technique has been used to present Wright’s designs, and offers new glimpses of the architect’s iconic buildings.

Photographing Wright by Andrew Peilage
Fallingwater is shown in its famous stance projecting from a rock over a waterfall in rural Pennsylvania

“I would shift down for one image, shift up for another and then combine them in Photoshop to create an image that included all of Wright’s designs in ‘one’ photo,” he said.

“It’s not a new concept, but I had never seen it applied to Frank Lloyd Wright architecture before I started.”

Photographing Wright by Andrew Peilage
The photoset offers a rare glimpse inside Fallingwater, revealing large expanses of glazing and steps down to the water

All of the interiors are shown in natural light, as the architect originally intended, which provided a limited window for photography.

“Working with natural light is time sensitive and that magical ‘golden hour is never really an hour, sometimes it’s only a few minutes,” he said. “That means a lot of early mornings and late nights waiting for the light that Wright designed the space to capture.”

Photographing Wright by Andrew Peilage
Pielage also captures the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, California

“Wright icon” Fallingwater is shown in its famous stance projecting from a rock over a waterfall. Meanwhile, a shot inside the rural Pennsylvania residence offers a rare view of its abundance of glazing, with red bands that frame views of the surrounding and steps down to the water’s edge.

Captured interiors include the David Wright House in Phoenix, which was recently donated to the School of Architecture at Taliesin – the architecture school founded by Frank Lloyd Wright.

“The spiralled mahogany interior is like no other design I have seen, and the views from the cantilevered master bedroom are incredible,” said the photographer, whose other highlights include Wright’s desert home and studio Taliesin West located in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Photographing Wright by Andrew Peilage
The images show the centre’s long atrium inside, which is lit huge curved rooflight

The recently refurbished interior of Unity Temple – a Prairie-style concrete church in Chicago’s Oak Park – is documented in images that show its natural-toned furniture lit by a grid of coloured glass skylights.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, The Marin County Civic Center and Bernard Schwartz House also feature in the series.

Pielage currently teaches photography workshops at Taliesin, Taliesin West and Fallingwater. He has also captured a small pavilion built on the campus of the School of Architecture at Taliesin by an architecture student.

This year, marked the 150th anniversary of Wright’s birth. To celebrate, Dezeen profiled some of the architect’s best projects, including the Prairie-style Robie House, and Hollyhock House – an early example of Mayan Revival architecture.

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