Unity Temple
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Architect Frank Lloyd Wright
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Location Oak Park, Illinois   map
Date 1906   timeline
Building Type church and parish house
 Construction System site-cast concrete
Climate temperate
Context suburban
Style Early Modern
Notes S.096. Block massing, H plan overall.






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Discussion Unity Temple Commentary

"Unity Church replaced an older timber building destroyed by fire in 1904. It was a revolutionary building in more than its treatment of materials: its interior designs based on rectangles, squares and planes coinciding and reacting with each other was of considerable importance to the Dutch 'de Stijl' movement; its servicing systems were among the most advanced in the world, with hot-air heating integrated in the structure. The building is divided into two separate parts: the Temple or auditorium, which is more or less square, and a rectangular Parish House linked to the auditorium by a single-storey entrance loggia.

— Dennis Sharp. A Visual History of Twentieth-Century Architecture. p29.

The Creator's Words

"Why not, then, build a temple, not to GOD in that way—more sentimental than sense—but build a temple to man, appropriate to his uses as a meeting place, in which to study man himself for his God's sake? A modern meeting-house and good-time place.

Build a beautiful ROOM proportioned to this purpose. Make it beautiful in this simple sense. A natural building for natural Man."

— Frank Lloyd Wright. from Edgar Kaufmann and Ben Raeb, Ed. Frank Lloyd Wright: Writings and Buildings. p75-77, 81-82.


Lake Street at Kenilworth Avenue
Oak Park, Illinois 60302

—Thomas A. Heinz. Architectural Monographs No. 18: Frank Lloyd Wright. p140.

Sources on Unity Temple

"From Maybeck to Megachurches", by Douglas R. Hoffman, ArchitectureWeek No. 61, 2001.0808, p1.

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. drawings and diagrams, p128-129. — Updated edition available at Amazon.com

Kenneth Frampton. Modern Architecture 1851-1945. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1983. ISBN 0-8478-0506-9. LC 83-61363. NA642.F7 1983. ground floor plan, p129. — Available at Amazon.com

Thomas A.Heinz. Architectural Monographs No.18: Frank Lloyd Wright. New York: St.Martin's Press, 1992. ISBN 0-312-07243-0. NA737.W7H4 1992. interior color photo of Temple room, p62. interior color photo of vestibule, p66-67. exterior color photo of entrance, p64-65.

Werner Hofmann and Udo Kultermann. Modern Architecture in Color. New York: The Viking Press, 1970. Color photo of interior, p187, plate 35.

Johnson Architectural Images. Copyrighted slides in the Artifice Collection.

Bruce Pfeiffer. Frank Lloyd Wright Drawings. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. exterior perspective, p88. interior perspective drawing looking toward altar, p90.

William Allin Storrer. The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993. ISBN 0-226-77624-7. LC 93-30127. NA737.W7A4 1993. plan drawing.   Available at Amazon.com

Frank Lloyd Wright. In The Realm of Ideas. Edwardsville, IL 62026: Southern Illinois University Press, 1988. interior perspective, p13. exterior perspective, p13.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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