Frank Lloyd Wright was a genius when it came to coming up with ideas for building stylish houses, and structures that no one else would have ever come up with. He’s also one of the few designers whose houses and building designs are all over the world, such that no one city or area can claim his style of house as their own.
For instance, in Chicago, he pioneered what’s known as the “prairie” style of house, emphasizing horizontal lines while working to eliminate feelings of boxiness often inherent in housing shapes, using features like cantilevered roofs and glass corners. One famous house he built in this style is known as the Robie House, which includes a roof that cantilevers 20 feet beyond its last support and art-glass details.
Wright could also build houses to fit the décor and style of particular areas. One house he’s known for is the Gladys and David Wright Residence of Phoenix, AZ, which was constructed as a solid circle with a ramp spiraling up to the entrance, has views of Camelback Mountain, block and wood elements including the circular ceiling, with ambient lighting, concrete floors and storage components. Wright even designed an area rug, table and four chairs included with the home. This house fits in well with its desert surroundings.
But Wright’s probably best known for houses and buildings in the state of California. One of those homes, presently up for sale, is the Ennis House, built in 1924 out of concrete, the first house built not only out of concrete, but the second house built in the style known as “textile block”. You also have the Millard House, which was built in 1923 and was the first house built in the textile block style, which was also built out of concrete, but also had many wood elements that gave the house more of a warm feeling than the Ennis House ever had.
Another California house Wright build was the Harriet and Randall Fawcett Residence in Los Banos. It was designed in 1955 and completed in 1961, and is known for being one of only three house Wright made in a style he termed “usonian”, referring to his vision for the landscape of the United States, including city planning of cities and building architecture. Built on 76 acres, it’s a fantastically open design that starts with a long private driveway, a pivoting entry door that opens to the hall and living room anchored by a grand 12 foot wide fireplace.
The roof pitches up to frame the Coast Range Foothills, while the broad copper fascia holds the horizontal roof line to the earth, accentuating its oneness with surrounding nature. The house is surrounded by glass, which helps give it the feeling of openness, and includes 5 bedrooms, 4 ½ baths, an open living room, dining room, a kitchen formalized by ornamental screens, a utility storeroom, central laundry, a separate studio with bath, wine cellar, tractor bay, swimming pool, Japanese garden, Koi pond, aviary, workshop, a 3-car carport and a Walnut orchard.
These are only a few styles and designs of Wright’s work, and there are plenty more homes of his that are on sale all over California and the United States. He was truly a man ahead of his time.