Organic Architecture and Interiors

Published on: July 5, 2015

Filled Under: Did You Know, Events, Historic Interiors, Travel as Inspiration, Uncategorized

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Early this spring Interior Design students at DCTC enjoyed a field trip to two significant historic icons of two of America’s most famous designers. First stop was the Owatonna, Minnesota bank (currently a Wells Fargo branch) designed by famed Chicago architect Louis Sullivan in 1908. The form follows function directness and simplicity he was known for is obvious in its simple shape. It was to be the first of Sullivan’s “jewel boxes”. With limited entries and high windows it feels like a secure place to bank. Yet it also exhibits an unbelievable richness of applied ornament of sculpted terra cotta on richly textured brick. The interior space is vast and impressive, flooded by light and with huge chandeliers, locally inspired murals, and stained-glass windows designed by Louis J. Millet . Our second location was the last hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Sullivan’s one-time protégé . Located in Mason City, Iowa, the Historic Park Inn Hotel has been completely restored as a boutique hotel after years of hard times and neglect. The lobby area illustrates Wright’s signature use of “compression and expansion” to create a sense of both intimacy and drama through the use of different ceiling heights.  You can read more about the hotel at Both locations showed the students examples of famous, historic buildings integrating architecture and interior design in a way that is still noteworthy after over 100 years.

FLW Hotel- Mason City

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