|Rear façade – photo from Currier Museum|
One of the most intriguing readings in Richard Griswold’s Undergraduate Design Principles class is H. Allen Brooks’ “Frank Lloyd Wright and the Destruction of the Box.” The article effectively relates Wright’s concepts regarding the manipulation of space and the creation of powerful human experiences, but as with all other writings about architecture and design it is inherently limited by its inability to allow the reader to actually physically experience the space. To fully comprehend Wright’s techniques it is necessary to visit one of his homes, and fortunately there is one less than an hour away from Boston: The Zimmerman House in Manchester, New Hampshire.
|Front façade – photo from Boston College|
Wright employed several of his most famous design features in the Zimmerman House, several of which will be illustrated by quick sketches that I made during the tour. His use of a constricted space to emphasize the magnitude of a larger space is frequently repeated, beginning even before one reaches the house itself with the placement of oversized hedges along either side of the driveway. This is then repeated with great success upon entering the house: the dark, narrow, low-ceilinged hallway that serves as an entryway leads to the main living space, which has a high pitched ceiling and plenty of light entering through windows on three sides.
|Sketch of entryway and living room in section by Ian Hester|
|View of living room from entryway from savewright.org|
|Sketch of interior and exterior planters in plan by Ian Hester|
|Exterior planters (interior planters visible through windows)|
photo from lifeat55mph blog
|Sketch of built-in shelving on a corner by Ian Hester|
|Corner shelving in living room photo from Currier Museum of Art|
The Zimmerman House is in Manchester, New Hampshire, which is slightly under an hour’s drive from Boston. The house is owned and operated by the Currier Museum of Art, so if you are interested in visiting click here. Unfortunately tours are not given during the late winter and early spring, but they will resume on April 11, 2013. After spring break, find a friend with a car and check it out.