The work of famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright was recognised Sunday as eight of his buildings, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, Los Angeles' Hollyhock House and the Unity Temple in suburban Chicago, were added to the Unesco World Heritage list.

"Each of these buildings offers innovative solutions to the needs for housing, worship, work or leisure," read a statement from the World Heritage Committee. "Wright's work from this period had a strong impact on the development of modern architecture in Europe."

Cantilevered terraces at Fallingwater. Photo / Keith Srakocic, AP
Cantilevered terraces at Fallingwater. Photo / Keith Srakocic, AP

The committee met Sunday in Baku, Azerbaijan, and also added to the list Italy's hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, which is home to the world-famous sparkling wine Prosecco.

The group noted Wright's use of "organic architecture," including an open plan, with blurred boundaries between exterior and interior, and the "unprecedented use" of steel and concrete. The Wright buildings are the 24th U.S. site on the list.

 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Photo / Kathy Willens, AP
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Photo / Kathy Willens, AP

The other Wright buildings included are the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago; Taliesin in Spring Green Wisconsin; the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House in Madison, Wisconsin; Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania; and Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Among his most iconic buildings was the Guggenheim with its spiral ramp for viewing galleries. It was completed in 1959, the same year Wright died.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House in Los Angeles. Photo / E.J. Flynn, AP
Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House in Los Angeles. Photo / E.J. Flynn, AP

The Unity Temple is in Oak Park, Illinois, which is home to the largest concentration of Wright-designed buildings, including his home and studio. The church, completed in 1908, was one of the first U.S. public buildings to feature exposed concrete, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, which is based in the Chicago area. The temple and the Robie House, which recently underwent restoration, are standards of Wright's "Prairie style," relying on strong horizontal features like a prairie landscape.

"This really is a significant moment for Frank Lloyd Wright," said trust President & CEO Celeste Adams. "It places him on an international stage."

Los Angeles officials also celebrated the status.

The Hollyhock House, Wright's first California commission, is now owned by the city of Los Angeles and serves as an arts center. Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell said the building, finished in 1921, "is a beloved masterpiece locally, and now a treasure worldwide."

More than 1,000 sites in 167 countries are recognised by the United Nations' cultural organization. They can be examples of outstanding natural beauty or man-made buildings.

Frank Lloyd Wright's eight Unesco sites

1. Falling Water, Pennsylvania

The house built over a waterfall


2. The Guggenheim Museum, New York

New York's unique spiral galler, named after Solomon R Guggenheim.

3. Taliesin (East), Wisconsin

The architecht's personal estate

4. Taliesin West, Wisconsin

The winter desert home now houses the Frank Lloyd Wright foundation

5. Hollyhock House, California

The temple-like Los Angeles home built for Aline Barnsdall

6. Unity Temple, Illinois

Unitarian church built to house the Oak Park congregation

7. Robie House, Illinois

A landmark of the Univeristy of Chicago

8. Jacobs House, Wisconsin

The first of the architecht's Usonian family homes