|Frank Lloyd Wright's Herbert Jacobs House (1936), Madison, Wisconsin. |
Photo by James Steakley, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
|Jocqueen (Carlson House, 1960), Niantic, East Lyme, Connecticut, designed by Leslie Larson. Courtesy of Google Maps.|
|Photo by Corey Coyle, courtesy of Panoramio and Wikimedia Commons.|
|Photos courtesy of Google Maps.|
Furthermore, the wall planks are vertical, unifying them with the upward trees from which they came, as a tribute to their natural origins. And the house's tripartite arrangement articulates the separate functions of each of the parts—the garage/workshop on the left, the bed/bath/kitchen section in the center, the semi-autonomous living-dining room at right—a principle of modern architecture Wright practiced often. But their unified composition guides our eyes smoothly across all three parts, denoting the fluid interconnection and ease of transition among them inside.
|Photos courtesy of CTMLS, Inc., and Zillow.com.|
Contrasting the void of the window-wall is the solid of the living-room wall, allowing privacy while honoring nature with grasscloth. The knotty-pine ceiling complements the woods outside the window-wall. The exposed-brick fireplace honors the earth that was its origin. The vertical window dissolves the dark corner in a Wrightian vein.
The kitchen's galley narrowness epitomizes Wright's view of its proper use: to do what's needed and get out of there, not to linger the way 'eat-in' kitchens tempt us to do. This one is placed to fulfill that function fully. It begins at the dining room, conveniently runs its appliances and cabinetry along an L-counter, and ends at the hallway to the bath and bedrooms.
This strategic arrangement makes it easy for us to eat, clean up, and go get ready to go to work in the morning or to go to bed at night. Thoughtful lighting is provided for each of these occasions: a skylight for breakfast, and a row of screen-filtered warm incandescent lighting for dinner.
|Photo by James Steakley, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.|
The Carlson House hallway is also well placed to run straight from the space between the living and dining areas past the kitchen to the cork-paneled bath—where a skylit tub/shower gives us a sunbath, too—and on to the master bedroom at left and Karen's room at right.
The master bedroom is minimally lit by corner-windows flanking the king-size bed area, allowing for maximum sleep. Karen's room is small but well-economized spatially: sliding- door closets along one wall, a makeup vanity below the window, built-in bunkbeds in the dark corner for optimum sleep-tight efficiency.
|Photo courtesy of CTMLS, Inc., and Zillow.com.|
|Wheatledge (Martha & Julius Larson House, late 1950s), Northfield, Minnesota. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.|
Like Jocqueen, Wheatledge is exemplary of two Wrightian principles: (1) inward-oriented design for optimum privacy and a feeling of retreat into nature from urban hustle-and-bustle, and (2) one-story configuration, which honors the earth with its horizontality and made it convenient for my grandparents and godparents to get around inside as they got older. Low stone knee-walls planted with perennials, groundcover and many kinds of trees complete the effect of peaceful nature sheltering Wheatledge.
Rest in peace, Dad, reassured you made the Wright choices for my godparents and grandparents. Happy Father's Day.
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