The Language of Architecture vs. Real Estate in Relation to Open Concepts

Stewart Hicks

In this 3-part series, Stewart Hicks explores how we talk about and evaluate buildings as architecture vs. how we talk about and evaluate them as real estate, specifically in relation to open concepts.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Organic Plans

In this video we take a look at the floor plans of Frank Lloyd Wright and breakdown what goes into his organic architecture. We begin with some of his early work like the Ward Willits house and compare it with a more standard ‘Single Style House’ of the period. Then, we see how these concepts and techniques are translated into later works like Robie House. Important aspects of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Organic Architecture include diagonal movement, overlapped corner rooms, corner windows, and a design process that goes from the inside out. All this goes into thinking specifically about organic plans as a particular category of open concepts.

The Free Plans of Le Corbusier’s Architecture (Villa Savoye)

In this video, we take a close look at the Free Plans of Le Corbusier’s architectural design strategies. As part of his ‘Five Points’ of architecture, we examine how the columns and walls work together in this particular type of “open concept.” Le Corbusier’s buildings like the Villa Savoye help to illustrate these concepts as we compare them to the ‘Organic Architecture’ of Frank Lloyd Wright. Specifically, the ribbon window is compared to the corner window of Wright and Le Corbusier’s ‘Promenade Architectural’ to the diagonal movement of organic architecture.

Mies van der Rohe’s OPEN PLANS

In this video, architectural designer and professor Stewart Hicks breaks down what makes the Open Plans of Mies van der Rohe a unique form of ‘open concept’ in Modern Architecture. The spatial strategies of Mies van der Rohe are explained, beginning with his early unbuilt Brick House, through the Barcelona Pavilion, to the Farnsworth House. Each one features a particular, but evolving, use of walls, columns, and roof planes that add up to what we call ‘Open Plans.’ Other videos in the series around ‘Open Concepts” are dedicated to things like Free or Organic Plans and can help anyone sharpen their understanding of architectural concepts. In addition to the close reading of the plans, the glass wall is compared to the ribbon windows of Corbusier and the corner windows of Frank Lloyd Wrigh

Credit: The above videos have been produced by architect Stewart Hicks, and have absolutely no affiliation with the Wright-Ingraham Institute. Our intent is to share them only for educational, non-commercial purposes, and we wish to fully credit the creator, Stewart HIcks for all rights to this material.
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UIC: University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture: