In the year that marks six decades since the death of design legend Frank Lloyd Wright, we look at five inspirational architects and their home curation legacies.
Architecture may have a history dating back to antiquity, but this was all overhauled by one American visionary. Frank Lloyd Wright transformed the practice into a futuristic movement based on integration with the land. Saying goodbye to the Gothic pomp of Victorian architecture, he carved a new style of New World living.
Since then, the boundaries have continued to shift. From free form shapes to glassy curves, our cities and homes have had a new lease of life thanks to this art form.
Frank Lloyd Wright: A taste of the American prairie
Voted the greatest American architect of all time by the American Institute of Architects in 1991, Frank Lloyd Wright began making waves at the turn of the 20th century.
Dandy and prophetic, Wright is as famous for his extravagant personality as the ‘organic’ looks he pioneered. He created secular concrete temples and affordable homes defined by long shapes channelling the American prairie. Even if you aren’t able to build a dream home in the wilderness like Fallingwater, you can still get inspired.
Wright saw the fireplace as the heart of the home, so consider a wood burner for your living room. Bring elements of the outside in with earthy hues and built-in planters. You’ll need a streamlined sofa that grazes the ground to complete the look. Try the three-seater Fellini or the Hetty for this.
Other furniture should occupy horizontal layers – think structured coffee tables and long shelves spanning an entire wall.
Zaha Hadid: Queen of the curves
Known for her radical deconstructivist designs, Zaha Hadid was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The Iraqi-British pioneer sculpted iconic city buildings like the Guangzhou Opera House and the MAXXI museum in Rome.
Her style almost defies definition but is characterised by fluid curves and geometric shapes. Hadid’s buildings are structurally unusual, but it is possible to recreate the look with colour and a dash of optical trickery. Her structures are distinctly glassy, so let the light pour in with minimalistic blinds, too.
Javier Senosiain: Kaleidoscopic colours and fantasy shapes
Freeform Mexican architect Javier Senosiain is another proponent of organic architecture. He is famous for creating the so-called ‘coolest Airbnb in Mexico’, a kaleidoscopic snake-shaped grotto filled with rainbow colours.
If your home isn’t serpentine in design, you can still harness the magic. Experiment with colourful mosaics or even stained glass blocks to create an internal wall that filters light in vibrant shades. Channel Nautilus House by creating an indoor garden where greenery frames the sofa.
In Javier Senosiain’s dreamlike world, furniture seems to disappear into the landscape. Opt for a small sofa like the Parma, whose diagonal legs link seamlessly with the earth.
Laura Jane Clark: Subversive chic
Laura Jane Clark famously converted an underground public toilet into a luxurious apartment, showing that chic interiors can blossom anywhere.
Laura designs her own furniture and lighting with industrial materials – such as scaffolding or pipes. If you’re a dab hand with metalwork and you know an electrician, why not replicate the effect?
Clark’s interiors ace modernity without straying towards futurism – they are wonderfully subversive. If you have a traditional Georgian house, set a regal Stamford beneath mysterious black ceilings. Pairing the homely Frasier sofa with a retrospective teak sideboard and bright kitchen stools can create the Clark style in smaller spaces. Just don’t forget to provide plenty of lofty lighting.
Sophie Goldhill: The urban artisan
One half of Liddicoat & Goldhill, Sophie is an emerging architect with a background in painting. One of her creations was shortlisted for House of the Year by RIBA in 2018, propelling the designer into the national spotlight.
The Makers House is a crisp, space-age new build with dazzling white walls and intriguing splashes of colour. This style is great if you want to be at one with the universe – just grab some brilliant white paint. Social spaces such as the bedroom and living room can channel splashes of warmth. Think clustered paperbacks, tilted lamps and bright armchairs.
Try the Brighton corner sofa then accessorise with scatter cushions for an asymmetrical colour burst. Introduce twists on the classic urban look with nebula-inspired art or slate flooring to feel like you are walking on the moon.