In the interest of immersing myself in the Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century exhibition (and fulfilling my goal of becoming a tourist in my home state), I have been visiting Wright-designed buildings in Wisconsin over the past few months.
First I went to nearby Racine to tour Wright’s 1939 “Wingspread” House built for Herbert Fisk Johnson, Jr. and the 1936 administration building for the S. C. Johnson Company. The Museum’s Chief Curator Brady Roberts pointed out to us on an exhibition tour that Santiago Calatrava visited the Johnson administration building seeking local inspiration when designing the Milwaukee Art Museum expansion—you can see a similar effect of the Johnson building’s cathedral-like glass ceiling interpreted in Windhover Hall. I think that the building model on view in the Museum exhibition beautifully captures the effect of the sky-lighting in the “great workroom” at the Johnson Administration Building. Of course, it was great to be able to verify this personally.