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Walter Burley Griffin

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Works , 1903 — Page at PBS

, at Edwardsville, Illinois, 1909 — Page at PBS

, at Decatur, Illinois, 1906 — Page at PBS

, at Anna, Illinois, 1912 — Page at PBS

, 1913 — Page at PBS

Biography Walter Burley Griffin

(b. Maywood, Illinois 1876; d. Lucknow, India 1937)

Walter Burley Griffin was born in Maywood, Illinois in 1876. He worked for Frank Lloyd Wright before he established a practice with Barry Byrne. A leading member of the Prairie School, Griffin exhibited a level of maturity and independence that separated him from many of his contemporaries. In 1914, Griffin moved to Australia after winning the competition for the new capital city, Canberra.

In contrast to Wright, Griffin pioneered the development of vertical space. Although confined, his interiors provided a sense of spatial variety and interest through their manipulation of multi-level space. His works reveal a preference for solid, compact forms and simple shapes.

Griffin showed a talent for planning suburban neighborhoods and cities in relation to the landscape. His schemes mixed formal and informal elements and included local flora. He invariably introduced axial roads and paths to order the meandering spaces within his plans.

In 1917 Griffin patented a workable system of concrete blocks that could be used in the construction of houses. From 1935 until his death in 1937, Griffin worked in Lucknow, India.

Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p69.

Resources Sources on Walter Burley Griffin

Mati Maldre, Paul Kruty. Walter Burley Griffin in America. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996. ISBN 0252021932. — This is the book that inspired Jack Kelly, the executive producer of the PBS documentary on Walter Burley Griffin. Available at Amazon.com


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