From screened-in porches to floating hotels, our desire to experience nature
in the comfort of shelter is an enduring tension.
The need for shelter is ancient; the luxury to invite nature back inside is the result
of early 20th century advancements in durable metals and stronger glass.
These new materials gave innovative architects exactly what they needed to radically
integrate the outdoors with our living spaces. The apex of this movement found
expression in the mid-century modern style, particularly in the United States.
Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the first American architects to rethink bunker-like homes
with few windows and bring us closer to our external surroundings. Inspired by how
Japanese culture assimilated nature into interiors, he sought an indoor/outdoor integration
with the Prairie School, a progressive American architectural style that rejected the formal
Greek and Roman designs of Europe. During the first two decades of the 20th century,
Wright promoted what he called “organic architecture.” This was the radical idea that the
home should celebrate the landscape it is in, rather than standing in contrast to it.