S.C. Johnson Research Tower (1944), Racine, Wisconsin
Wright designed a tower for the S. C. Johnson research laboratories to balance the predominantly horizontal composition of the Administration Building. The project gave him the first chance to build the cantilevered high-rise ideal he had earlier conceived in the 1920’s. The design of the Research Tower consists of fourteen levels, seven of which are square plans with a circular mezzanine above. The central structural and circulation core accommodates the elevator and stairway channels as well as necessary ventilation and services. From the central core, the floor slabs are cantilevered out like branches of a tree. The entire outside surface is sheathed in glass tubes like the adjacent Administration Building to admit light without a view. The single reinforced concrete foundation for the central core is called the “tap root” and was based on an idea originally proposed in 1929.
Perspective drawing of S.C. Johnson Research Laboratory Tower, 1947. Copyright © the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
For more information about the S. C. Johnson Research Tower, see The Frank LLoyd Wright Buildings at SC Johnson.
References: Frank Lloyd Wright by Robert McCarter, ©1997 Phaidon Press Limited; Frank Lloyd Wright by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, ©1994 Benedikt Taschen