WAÏF: Marin Civic Center
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1957)
The Marin Civic Center. San Rafael. 1969
The Marin County Civic Center was Frank Lloyd Wright’s last commission and largest public project, including several civic functions that would serve Marin County and San Francisco, which after the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge became closer than ever. Wright was selected for the project in 1957, winning a vote out of hope he would be able to best represent a democratic government open to the people through the Civic Center.
In April 1958 Wright’s project was approved, and the architect submitted his set of concept drawings exactly a year later. Upon his death, his protege Aaron Greene would lead the construction, bringing Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs to reality.
The architect stressed his beliefs in an organic architecture close to nature, particularly in the Hall of Justice and Administration Building, claiming Marin County’s landscapes to be among the most beautiful he’d ever seen. The horizontality of the project and its placement fall in line with Wright’s philosophy and truly accommodate the landscape and harness its beauty.
Today the project is listed on the National Register of Historic Place and is considered a National Historic Landmark and a California Historical Landmark, while currently being considered for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Marin County Civic Center is considered to be Wright’s ‘last great commission’ and one of the strongest projects of his career in that it countered the traditional to bring architecture closer to nature and to its users.
Photographs: Flickr User C.M. Keiner, Flickr User DB’s travels, Flickr User kara brugman