S.C. Johnson Administration Building (1936), Racine, Wisconsin
The design Wright developed for the S. C. Johnson Administration Building was of “great simplicity”, in his words. On the 245 square foot site, he placed a double-height “great workroom” measuring more than 120 feet by 200 feet, with columns spaced at twenty feet in both directions, surrounded by a 17-foot deep mezzanine and a solid brick wall at the outer edge. The brick-clad exterior walls are separated from both the mezzanine floors and the workroom roof by glass “cornices”, continuous bands glazed with a double layer of horizontally stacked Pyrex tubes which admit no views of the outside. The columns are the most extraordinary feature of the building, starting from a 9-inch diameter base set in a steel cup-shaped footing at the floor and tapering out to produce an 18.5-foot diameter disk at the top.
To enter the building, one moves from the garage portico, its columns only 8.5 feet tall, to the lobby with columns rising to over 30 feet, and finally into the workroom, where the columns rise to 25 feet in height.
Perspective drawing of S. C. Johnson Administration Building, 1936. Copyright © the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
For more informaton about the S.C. Johnson Administration Building, see The Frank LLoyd Wright Buildings at SC Johnson.
References: Frank Lloyd Wright by Robert McCarter, ©1997 Phaidon Press Limited; The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright by William Allin Storrer, ©1995 MIT Press