A small gem in San Francisco

A few years ago, I discovered a small building, just off Union Square in San Francisco. The only Frank Lloyd Wright building in San Francisco, an small art gallery. A small gem if you ask me.

Eyeing down the street, you would never imagine to find one the 16 buildings by Wright designated by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as “making a significant contribution to American Architecture” (source).

Xanadu Art Gallery | San Francisco | Frank Gehry

When you take a closer look at the facade, it’s clear that this small square brick building is the work of a great architect:

The building houses an Asian art gallery: Xanadu Art Gallery and if you ask the guard nicely, you can take as much pictures as you want.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the building in 1948. Originally it was a V.C. Morris Gift Shop. Once inside I got overwhelmed by the spiral ramp: a stylistic exercise for the ramp in the New York Guggenheim.

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Besides the stairs, I especially liked the glass bulbs of the ceiling:

086_SanFranciscoXanadu

Walk through the gallery (thank you You Tube!):

Seen from the top of the stairs, the ramp looks like this:
Xanadu_Top

Street address
140 Maiden Lane, San Francisco (California), United States.

More info
Mimoa file and a beautiful article with lots of background info.

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Fallingwater

Frank Lloyd Wright was 68 years old when he built Fallingwater. A weekend house for the three members of the Kaufmann family, Pittsburg store owners. There they could escape city life and enjoy nature outdoors and contemplative time indoors.

And what a house Wright designed! It became one of those great American symbols, because of it’s natural beauty. The house really blends in with its environment and thus doesn’t feel like a man made construction, but rather part of the woods surrounding it. Frank Lloyd Wright designed a concept of how man should live. He even took care of the indoor aspects such as furniture like the best modernist architects.
And how was it to live in that house? Liliane Kaufmann wrote in a note to Wright “Living in a house built by you has been my one education”.
I can imagine.

Reference
Waggoner, Lynda S. (1996). Fallingwater: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Romance with Nature. Pennsylvania: Fallingwater, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in association with Universe Publishing.