Interviewed by Marilyn L. Geary, May 19, 2004
Eric Lloyd Wright is Principal Architect of the firm Eric Lloyd Wright and Associates and is one of the founders of Wright Way Organic Resource Center in Malibu, California. During Eric's early years in architecture, he was an apprentice to his grandfather, Frank Lloyd Wright and his father, Lloyd Wright. His portfolio includes the restoration and renovation of Frank Lloyd Wright and Lloyd Wright works as well as residences and institutional buildings of his own design.
Eric's current focus is on the evolution of Organic Architecture and Green Building design. His design philosophy is rooted in the integration of ecology, social responsibility and beauty. Through Eric's years of design experience, he has developed an understanding that it is not the physical walls and roof, but the space within a building that forms its character - its soul. He gives careful thought to a project's physical, social and spiritual environment, with a focus on appropriate materials, quality, craftsmanship, and careful detailing.
In the following excerpts, Eric Wright discusses Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural philosophy, the influence of Froebel blocks, and the Marin County Civic Center.
Note: Due to the fact that this interview was conducted over the phone and was interrupted by static, only the response to the last question takes the form of an audio excerpt. The remaining excerpts are transcriptions of Eric Lloyd Wright’s responses.
Question 1: We understand that Frank Lloyd Wright's mother taught him to play with Froebel blocks when he was young; how did that help him better understand the concept of structure?
"That was one of the great things of the Froebel system; to have you, as a child, look at the structure of all the plans, and buildings and things. And that's what you were doing with the blocks: you were setting up abstractions; and the abstractions would get to the base of that structure."
Question 2: How does the Marin County Civic Center embody Mr. Wright's concept of organic architecture?
"I think he was using the nature of concrete very beautifully in the curved forms. Concrete is a wonderful, plastic material, and you can mold it and shape it. And I think that that's one of the beauties of the Marin County Civic Center: the use of the concrete. I think another very interesting thing he did was to open up the whole center of the building with this continuous skylight, to let light in, all the way down, through all of the floors, and to have the bottom, the main floor garden, grow up through it. He was bringing the outside elements inside the building."