Marion Mahony Griffin

Marion Lucy Mahony Griffin ( born February 14, 1871 in Chicago, Illinois; † August 10, 1961, ibid ) was an American artist and one of the world's first licensed architects. She worked closely with her ​​husband Walter Burley Griffin, who became known as the planner of the Australian capital Canberra. During 28 years, the Griffins designed together more than 350 buildings, landscape and urban design projects; also they designed new building materials, interior furnishings, furniture and other household items.


Mahony 1894 was only the second woman, who graduated to study architecture in Cambridge (Massachusetts ) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Back in Chicago, she was 1895 employees in the company of Frank Lloyd Wright. She designed furniture, stained glass and decorative elements and was responsible in architectural competitions for the artistic design of presentations. The critic Reyner Banham influential designated Mahony as "the best architectural draftsman of her generation ".

When Frank Lloyd Wright moved unexpectedly to Europe in 1909, she oversaw the completion of numerous unfinished projects. These included the Fairlane, the villa by Henry Ford in Dearborn. On June 29, 1911, she married Walter Burley Griffin, a former employee of Wright, who had five years earlier made ​​independently.

In April 1911, the Australian Government announced an international competition for the planning of the new capital, Canberra. Walter Burley Griffin was declared in May 1912 winner. Two points were decisive: He had the city structure whenever possible existing topography adjusted, while all other city planners tried to change the natural environment so that it was enough predefined aesthetic desires. Marion Mahony Griffin Moreover, painted numerous artistically appealing watercolors, which showed that city from different angles; Griffin's design stood out from the crowd as technical drawings.

In 1914 she moved to Australia after her husband had been appointed there to the Planning Director. While her husband was busy with the detailed planning of Canberra ( until 1920 ), Marion Mahony Griffin was planning numerous buildings in Melbourne and Sydney. In 1919 the couple Griffin the Greater Sydney Development Association ( GSDA, development company wholesale Sydney ) and acquired two years later in North Sydney is a 259 hectare property. The aim of the GSDA was the development of an idyllic community in a style of architecture that is in harmony with the natural environment.

During the GSDA activity the Griffins came in 1926 in Sydney with the theosophy of the Theosophical Society Adyar in touch. They made ​​contact with a number of leading Theosophists, Walter published in the theosophical magazine The Theosophist multiple items, but they were not with the company. The dissolution of the Order of the Star and the associated discrepancies led to an increasing alienation of the Griffins of Theosophy and the approach to the anthroposophy. In 1930, Marion Mahony Griffin in the Anthroposophical Society, followed in 1931 by her husband Walter their example. Through contacts with anthroposophy they secured in 1935 the contract for the construction of the University Library in the Indian city of Lucknow. On February 11, 1937 Walter Burley Griffin died after falling from a scaffolding. His wife oversaw the completion of projects started, completed in India office and handed over the Australian subsidiary to its partner Eric Nicholls. She returned back to Chicago in 1939 to design more construction projects. In addition, she wrote her memoirs; the over 1000 -page work, The Magic of America was published in 1949.