Architecture for the floor
Classic Rug Collection finds inspiration in the work of visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the new Signature Series.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic theory of architecture included a house at one with its landscape setting, a fireplace, bookshelves and ‘a quiet rug on the floor’. The renowned American architect (1867-1959) was a visionary and egalitarian. Famed for his low-slung Prairie Style houses and for Fallingwater—his multi-level house with cantilevered overhangs framing a waterfall—it was his smaller, prefabricated, more affordable Usonian modular houses that consumed the last twenty years of his career. Few of us can own a Wright house, but Wright-inspired rugs bring the visionary into our homes. Under licence from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Classic Rug Collection, based in New York City, revealed the Signature Series of Wright-inspired rugs in October 2019.
Wright believed furniture and objects in his homes should harmonise with his architecture. He designed built-in and free-standing furniture and rugs. Inspiration for the Signature Series rug designs could have been based on Wright’s unrealised rug designs, but Barbara Barran, President of Classic Rug Collection and the Series’ designer, took an imaginative approach. She found inspiration for the rugs in a range of Wright designs including ceiling motifs, gate finials, windows, perf panels, and textile blocks (used to build Wright’s Mayan Revival 1923 Ennis House which features prominently in cult film Blade Runner).
Motifs from Wright’s clerestory windows (window bands at the tops of walls well above head height) are represented throughout the Signature Series. Rugs inspired by Wright’s clerestory windows range from his expensive art glass (stained glass) 1912 windows for Coonley Playhouse featuring a geometric ‘parade’ of balloons, confetti and flags, to rugs inspired by the affordable perf panels he designed for his Usonian houses. Perf (perforated) wooden boards were Wright’s affordable ‘stained glass’. Dynamic angular patterns that seem to be inspired by isometric projections of Wright’s architectural plans were cut out of boards. These pierced ‘screens’ were then placed in front of clear glass clerestory windows.
Inspired by Wright’s belief in the democracy of design, the Signature Series includes three collections at multiple price points. A customisable luxury collection in wool or silk is hand-knotted in Nepal and includes less expensive tufted rugs made in Thailand. This collection is joined by two Usonian Collections of US-made floor cloths and cotton flatweaves handwoven in India. The Usonian Collections are sold at Frank Lloyd Wright house museums and museum stores.