Frank Lloyd Wright once said that: “a doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only plant vines”. I’m sure that he’d agree though that plantings can also enhance good and great architecture. After all, it was he who first used the word “organic” in a design related context.
“Garden and Building may now be one. In any good organic structure it is difficult to say where the garden ends and where the house begins or where the house begins and the garden ends… I am really an emissary of the ground…”*
Well, in the photo above it is clear where building ends, but the effusion of color is all the more effective for that fact. It’s a Canadian Redbud in front of the Public Library in Davenport, Iowa just a few blocks north of theMississippi River. Yep, north. The river flows east to west there for a stretch.
The building was designed by Edward Durell Stone in 1969 and clearly recalls his Kennedy Center inWashington DC which went up in 1962. I’ve always figured that DC’s cherry blossoms prefigured the DPL’s redbuds. Whatever, they look marvelous for a few days each spring.
Furthermore, the ephemeration of twig and color before the geometrical background pattern brings to mind first how short will be our visit upon this bit of the cosmos and then just how incredibly it is all underpinned by mathematics. Go figure.
*Frank Lloyd Wright, The Future of Architecture, 1953
Davenport Public Library