from textile block houses to the guggenheim museum, over his lifetime frank lloyd wright designed 1,171 architectural prolific works. but of the 1,171 works, 660 remain unbuilt and unknown to many. now wright enthusiasts have an opportunity to see what might have been thanks to the computer-generated, 3D-images by spanish architect david romero.

rendering of the gordon strong automobile objective (unbuilt)

all images by david romero, courtesy of the the frank lloyd wright foundation

 

 

romero has a portfolio of never-realized and long-gone works by wright, all collated on his blog appropriately entitled hooked on the past. the 1958 trinity chapel for the university of oklahoma is illustrated with red walkways, a green shingle spire and stained-glass windows; the 1904 larkin administration building, demolished for a never-built truck stop and previously only visible in black-and-white photographs, is shown in full colour; and the 1942 rose pauson house, which burned down in 1943, has been revived in renders detailing the material mix of stone and wood.

lost works of frank lloyd wright brought to life in new renderings

 

 

now, romero has partnered with the the frank lloyd wright foundation to create a series of renderings of the unbuilt gordon strong automobile objective, a tourist attraction designed by wright in 1924 to sit atop maryland’s sugarloaf mountain. romero referenced photographs of the solomon r. guggenheim museum in new york to shape his understanding of how the building might have been realized. the automobile objective was meant to serve as a planetarium, so romero decided to capture the importance of the structure at night and gathered nighttime photos of skies filled with stars and cars trailed by an electric glow to help create the setting and convey motion, speed and feeling.

lost works of frank lloyd wright brought to life in new renderings

 

 

wright managed to combine in a single building the sense of something playful with the majesty of an impressive monument,‘ romero said of the automobile objective, designed by frank lloyd wright in the 1920s.it is a pity that it could not be built. If it had, I think it would be one of his most celebrated designs.’

rendering of the butterfly wing bridge (unbuilt)

 

 

not unlike planning for present-day structures, romero’s process for rendering the unbuilt is a result of analyzing materials, the natural environment, historical context and built references. his work relies heavily on photos as references, thinking of renderings as ‘no more than photographs in a virtual space.

rendering of the roy wetmore car repair and showroom, scheme 1 (unbuilt)

 

 

after building the model of the structure, romero went about creating the environment by researching the scenic area in maryland. he chose cars from the decade in which he estimated the structure might have been built, and multicolored fall trees to accompany the structure whilst studying the striking views and natural beauty to form the backdrop.  

the 1904 larkin administration building (demolished)

 

 

when fine-tuning the details of the building romero chose textures and materials, considering the wear, imperfections and traces of rain and dirt they would have suffered over time. he referenced the guggenheim and chose concrete for the material of the main structure. once romero added light to the setting using an HDRI photograph, his raw rendering was complete and final adjustments were made in adobe photoshop to perfect the image.

the 1942 rose pauson house (burned down)

 

 

I love the result. the final images look a bit different if we compare them with wright’s drawings that were always from very high points of view. now, we can see the design from an individual’s point of view,’ romero said.

rendering of the 1958 trinity chapel for the university of oklahoma (unbuilt)

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