Unbuilt Frank Lloyd Wright house realised
74 years after it was designed

| 14 comments
Unbuilt Frank Lloyd Wright house realised 74 years after it was designed

News: a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939 but never built has been realised 74 years later at the campus of Florida Southern College.

Unbuilt Frank Lloyd Wright house realised 74 years after it was designed

The single-storey structure was one of around 60 houses drawn up by the late American architect as part of his series of "Usonian homes" - a kind of family residence that is free from ornamentation, intended to represent a national style whilst remaining affordable for the average family.

Unbuilt Frank Lloyd Wright house realised 74 years after it was designed

The house has now been constructed on the campus of Florida Southern College, which itself was masterplanned by Frank Lloyd Wright and currently boasts the world's largest single-site collection of his completed buildings. Wright originally designed 18 buildings for the college but only 12 were constructed during his lifetime, making the Usonian house number 13.

Unbuilt Frank Lloyd Wright house realised 74 years after it was designed

Instead of being used as a residence, the building forms part of the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center - a gallery and visitor centre presenting both permanent and temporary exhibitions of Wright's life and work.

Unbuilt Frank Lloyd Wright house realised 74 years after it was designed

"It is a singular privilege to be stewards of this paramount piece of American architectural heritage," said college president Anne Kerr. "Frank Lloyd Wright is not only a part of Florida Southern's history, but also a part of America's great history, and the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center is a wonderful tribute to his legacy on our campus and his impact around the world."

Unbuilt Frank Lloyd Wright house realised 74 years after it was designed

Around 2000 concrete blocks were used to build the walls of the house and had to be hand-made by craftsmen. Roof canopies and window frames are constructed from timber, plus around 6000 coloured glass blocks function as stained glass windows.

Unbuilt Frank Lloyd Wright house realised 74 years after it was designed

The house also features reproduction furniture that was designed by Wright specifically for use in his Usonian homes.

  • UnderArcadia

    I’m not sure how I feel about this.

  • Jose Hernando

    It is so weird.

  • Pig

    F.L. Wright was a charlatan and no truer a testament to that is this structure.

    • jonathan

      And you’re a troll.

  • Marques

    For me, architecture without time and context makes no sense. This is one of those cases. If we think this is right, why don’t we go back even further and start searching for unbuilt designs by other great architects like Vitruvius, Michelangelo, etc…

    • dhs

      Sometimes to truly understand and appreciate something you have to actually build it. It looks like they did a great job and probably learned a lot in the process. And they have a beautiful building that is a tribute to the original architect and will most likely be useful for a long time.

      Great work!

  • Fed Fef

    I suppose the family holds the copyright, and depending on the circumstances they get paid.

  • http://businessofarchitecture.com/ Enoch Sears

    Wonderful. Still looks very timeless.

  • TFO

    The only thing missing is the giant glass vitrine that shall encapsulate and preserve the structure for eternity. “Curating” architecture is just plain weird.

  • ha

    It is amazing to see how difficult is to do a good building. Even if the plans were made by one of the best architects in history! At that time, even more than now, the construction process was very important, as this amazingly poor result proves.

  • http://www.theidlearchitect.com/ The Idle Architect

    Wishing I could see a plan drawing.

  • Shelagh Nation

    Well said Adam! I’m 83, studied at a time when Wright’s houses were considered great – and I still think this one is great! I was a junior paerner of Helmut Stauch, trained at the Ittenschule, one of our greatest, (And some of my best earlier houses have a ‘family’ resemblance.)

  • Shelagh Nation

    And I am an old South African architect and I think this is probably one of Wright’s better designs. I can but say hooray for an intelligent comment!

  • chknmurph

    Architect of record: Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects