Join virtual tours of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpieces

A new series of virtual tours offer you the chance to explore Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture from the comfort of your home. The campaign to continue educating and inspiring the public through the digital sphere is also a reminder of the importance of the physical experience of architecture, and an appeal for funding support to heritage sites all over the world during the Covid-19 crisis

Taliesin West designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1937. A large house made from stones with a wooden roof, beautiful gardens in front of it and hills behind it.
Taliesin West designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1937.
(Image credit: Carol Highsmith)

The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, in partnership with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Unity Temple Restoration Foundation, has launched a series of weekly virtual tours to your favourite Frank-Lloyd-Wright-designed buildings. While the tours focus on bringing education and escape to a global audience, for the Conservancy they are also an important appeal for support during the Covid-19 crisis.

Along with other institutions such as art galleries and libraries, many Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, of which many are UNESCO World Heritage sites, are now closed to the public, presenting the modern landmark’s with financial pressures and fears of being unable to resume operations post-crisis. While closures are absolutely crucial to the health of the public, the cultural loss during this period of time, and quite probably its aftermath, requires attention.

In a recent statement UNESCO has described the importance of culture to physiological health: ‘At a time when billions of people are physically separated from one another, culture brings us together. It provides comfort, inspiration and hope at a time of enormous anxiety and uncertainty.’

Barbara Gordon, executive director, Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, said: ‘It is precisely at this time, when so many are shut inside, that we need to experience beauty and inspiration. Wright’s works bring people together in harmony with the natural world, reminding us that we are all connected, even when we’re apart.’

Inside the Darwin D. Martin House conservatory, part of a wider complex built between 1903 and 1905. A indoor passage with planters on either side of it, a white statue at the end and wood and glass roof above it.

Inside the Darwin D. Martin House conservatory, part of a wider complex built between 1903 and 1905. 

(Image credit: Photography: Biff Henrich / IMG_INK. Image courtesy Martin House Restoration Corporation)

While virtual tours, and platforms such as the UNESCO World Heritage Journeys in Europe, are important for the digital experience of architectural landmarks from anywhere in the world, the physical experience of architecture is unparalleled and crucial for the education of architects, students and the public.

There is a pressing demand for funding support across the cultural industries. In the US, institutions such as the Getty Trust, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts have stepped up to provide grants across the arts sector. In the UK, the National Lottery Heritage Fund has launched a £50 million emergency fund and put all new grant applications on hold, while the Architectural Heritage Fund is continuing to stand by it's deadlines for existing grants.

So while these virtual tours are uplifting cultural journeys now democratically available to all to experience, they are also campaigns for these architectural treasures to stay in the cultural spotlight.

INFORMATION

See full list of participating sites at savewright.org (opens in new tab).

Harriet Thorpe is a writer, journalist and editor covering architecture, design and culture, with particular interest in sustainability, 20th-century architecture and community. After studying History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and Journalism at City University in London, she developed her interest in architecture working at Wallpaper* magazine and today contributes to Wallpaper*, The World of Interiors and Icon magazine, amongst other titles. She is author of The Sustainable City (2022, Hoxton Mini Press), a book about sustainable architecture in London, and the Modern Cambridge Map (2023, Blue Crow Media), a map of 20th-century architecture in Cambridge, the city where she grew up.