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Student of Frank Lloyd Wright

11 years ago

This house is on the market in my area. Supposedly designed by a student of Wright, at Taliesin West I suppose.

I am never quite sure what to think of "students of Wright". At Taliesin he basically used the students as free labor. Actually it was more than free, you Paid him, you drafted His projects for him and you had to raise your own food (or something like that). You learned by some kind of immersion, but I am not sure what he "taught", other then what he did.

I know an elderly local architect, in his mid-80s who worked with a number of well-known modernists who said to me once that Wright only taught one or two architects who became great architects, the rest just did his work and learned technically from it, but didn't have their own visions.

He's pretty blunt about things: when he found out who designed my new house (a locally prominent modernist who worked in some rather famous modernist firms), he said "Well, you Know, then, that he built a lot of really *bad* things--the ideas were sometimes there but the budgets weren't" and "He asked Me to work in his office, but I couldn't because he could never pay anybody, he was always broke."

Anyway, here is the house. I can see a bit of Wright's volumes in it. I think the pictures are awful: The rooms are vast and why they used the stretchy camera on this one, I'll never know.

This is one of those houses that can't really be turned into anything else. You either appreciate its split level idiosyncrasies or you buy something else. (Ideally) Of course, because like many modernists that end up as estates, it's not that expensive so someone will probably buy it because it's affordable and then try to remuddle it into something else. I know, I am very negative.

Staged, of course, and with some minor updates at some point. The original vanity would have been a laminate countertop with an inset sink with a Hudee ring. The current one is Corian. Check out the built in fold-down scale under the bathroom window.

I think the bedroom catwalk was designed to function as an entryway art gallery space primarily-- that happened to "sneak in" some doors to the bedrooms secondarily. I find the gothic railing very pleasant.

Notice also how the floor level firebox in the LR becomes a near ceiling level firebox in the den. The overall design is at once subtle and overpowering. I really don't see how its essential forms could be altered successfully.

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