SITU chosen to design new Visitor Center for Frank Lloyd Wright site in Buffalo, NY

April 24th 2019

We’re excited to announce that SITU has been selected to design the new Visitor Center at Graycliff, a historic site in Buffalo created by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright and landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman. SITU is collaborating with Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects (HHL) and Bayer Landscape Architecture, two local firms with expertise in the historic preservation of Frank Lloyd Wright sites.

This project will re-imagine the experience at Graycliff through an expanded and engaging Visitor Center and public realm. Graycliff was originally conceived in the 1920s by Darwin and Isabel Martin who wanted to create a summer retreat for their family. To establish a strong connection between the site and home, the Martins commissioned Wright as architect and Shipman as landscape architect, creating a historic collaboration. As leaders in their respective fields, these two had never before worked together.

Our approach plays on the project’s original aims: to integrate the landscape into the architecture and to provide a place of retreat. The building’s new design will blur the distinction between indoors and out—both visually and programmatically—and create spaces for visitors to linger and take in their surroundings.

Beyond engaging with the site’s rich history, the new Center will also create a place for the Conservancy to grow as a contemporary cultural institution—engaging broader audiences and hosting a wider range of programs. From site-related tours and lectures to local events and fundraising initiatives, the new design will provide an agile and adaptable place that enables unique engagement with the site for the local community as well as visitors throughout the region.