There is plenty to love about the work of prolific American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, from his textile block houses to famous buildings like the Guggenheim Museum. But of the 1,171 works Wright created in his lifetime, 660 remain unbuilt. These lost works are worthy of study on their own, an intriguing thought experiment of what might have been.
Spanish architect David Romero has a lengthy portfolio of never-realized Wright designs—including the 1958 Trinity Chapel—or long-gone works like the 1904 Larkin Administration Building (demolished for a never-built truck stop) and the 1942 Rose Pauson House (which burned down in 1943).
Now, Romero has partnered with the The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to create a series of renderings of the unbuilt Gordon Strong Automobile Objective, a tourist attraction designed by Wright in 1924 to sit atop Maryland’s Sugarloaf Mountain.
“Wright managed to combine in a single building the sense of something playful with the majesty of an impressive monument,” Romero said of the Automobile Objective. “It is a pity that it could not be built. If it had, I think it would be one of his most celebrated designs.”
Because of the spiraling ramp featured in the design of the Automobile Objective, Romero referenced photographs of the Guggenheim Museum to help understand what the building would have looked like. The structure was meant to serve as a planetarium, restaurant, and scenic overlook—a day-trip destination for people who would head to the building as a tourist attraction and then return home.
In addition to the Gordon Strong Automobile Objective, Romero also designed images of three other unbuilt works: the Roy Wetmore Car Repair and Showroom, Butterfly Wing Bridge, and Valley National Bank. Romero’s “virtual photographs” will appear in an upcoming issue of the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly magazine, and you can take a peek, below.