SC Johnson Administration Building and Research Tower
Racine, WI 1936/1943
Wright’s groundbreaking office building for SC Johnson was designed without conventional window openings to block out the surrounding industrial landscape. With no views of nature to frame, Wright created an interior forest of slender, tapering dendriform columns that widen to support the concrete pads carrying the weight of the roof. Forty-three miles of translucent layered Pyrex tubing formed the clerestories beneath the mezzanine and below the cornice line, as well as the skylit openings around the column capitals. Shadowless, natural light floods the interior, creating a workplace Wright claimed would be “as inspiring to live and work in as any cathedral ever was to worship in.” In 1943 Wright designed the 15-floor Research Tower for the company’s research and development division. It is one of only two tall buildings Wright ever constructed, and one of the tallest structures ever built on the cantilever principle, standing 153 feet tall. The tower was closed in 1982 but in 2013 SC Johnson undertook an extensive restoration and opened two floors to the public for the first time in the spring of 2014.
For more information:scjohnson.com/en/a-family-company/architecture-and-tours