The design of these apartment towers for St. Mark’s-in-the-Bouwerie in New York City stemmed from Wright’s vision for Usonia, a new American culture based on the synthesis of architecture and landscape. The organic “tap-root” structural system resembles a tree, with a central concrete and steel load-bearing core rooted in the earth, from which floor plates are cantilevered like branches. This system frees the building of load-bearing interior partitions and supports a modulated glass curtain wall for increased natural illumination. Floor plates are rotated axially to generate variation from one level to the next and to distinguish between living and sleeping spaces in the duplex apartments. The three towers on the triangular park site are positioned apart from other tall buildings to avoid creating the dark urban canyons that Wright detested. Although the St. Mark’s project was never realized, its concepts were materialized thirty years later in Wright’s H. C. Price Company Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Gallery label from 75 Years of Architecture at MoMA, 2007.