A masterpiece in the use of light, Johnson Wax headquarters. Racine, Wisconsin, USA

Medium: conference paper
Language(s): en 
Conference: 6th International Congress on Construction History (6ICCH 2018), July 9-13, 2018, Brussels, Belgium
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Page(s): 1137-1145
Abstract: A fervent imagination, the use of technical and constructional innovations, and the trust placed in him by the customer enabled Frank Lloyd Wright to produce a sophisticated project for the S. C. Johnson Wax Company, which has remained intact until the present. In this majestic but at the same time introverted building, the mechanical systems for environmental control, heating and cooling and forced air circulation are as central as its structural conception. Tubular glass is a fundamental design material, and Wright used it to create non-diaphanous membranes. Here the combined use of natural and artificial light lends strength to the project, transforming the glass-prism from an illuminated body to a light source. This paper, largely based on an examination of the documentation from the Johnson Wax archives and coeval articles, seeks to explore the theme of climatic comfort and interior lighting in buildings built in the earlier part of the twentieth century.

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