Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1956), New York, New York
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum was commissioned by Solomon R. Guggenheim, a wealthy collector of non-objective art who asked Wright for a museum unlike any other. Designed in 1943, the many delays in implementing the plan included the building moratorium imposed by World War II and the difficulty in finding a suitable site in expensive Manhattan.
The spiral form, with tiers that expand in size as the building rises, was deemed by Wright to make the best use of the available site. The primary construction material is concrete, both sprayed and poured into forms. Inside, the building is dominated by the main gallery, a continuous spiraling inclined ramp in concrete that follows the curvilinear form of the exterior. Wright intended to ramp to conduct visitors from the topmost tier, reached by elevator, to the bottom of the ramp, viewing the artworks along the way.
The Guggenheim Museum has been designated by the American Institute of Architects as one of seventeen buildings designed by Wright to be retained as an example of his architectural contribution to American culture.
Location: Fifth Avenue, between 88th and 89th Streets
William Allin Storrer, The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (1995), #400.
Robin Langley Sommer, “Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum,” Frank Lloyd Wright: A Gatefold Portfolio (1997), no page number.