3 Unbuilt Houses by Frank Lloyd Wright Come to Life in 3D
Famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who changed the course of America’s architectural history with his visionary designs, created 1,171 works during his lifetime. However, more than half of these designs remain unrealized in built form.
Three of Wright’s 660 unbuilt architectural designs have now been reconstructed into realistic 3D renderings and floor plans by Angi. Based on designs by Wright, recognized by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time”, these 3D reconstructions include Mrs. David Devin House (Chicago, 1896), Cottage Studio for Ayn Rand (Connecticut, 1946) and Lake Tahoe Lodge (Lake Tahoe, California, 1923).
“Wright’s blueprints and visualizations are beautiful, but to experience what his unrealized sketches might feel like takes a big leap,” Angi explained.
House of Mrs. David Devin (Chicago, 1896)
A project executed very early in his career as a solo architect for Aline Devin, this plan was one of many designs he presented to his “prickly” client seeking to impress her friends in high society. Constant interference from his client led to a series of experimental designs, none of which came to fruition in built form.
“Although Wright was playing with this type of winding, Sullivanesque ornamentation at this time, the house does not fit neatly with his progression as an architect. Unbuilt, it leaves a unique hole in Wright’s history,” said Angi said.
Studio Cottage for Ayn Rand (Connecticut, 1946)
Novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand, who had based the title character, Howard Roark in her 1943 novel The Fountainhead on Wright, approached the architect to design a summer retreat in Connecticut or Los Angeles. Featuring a series of cantilevered concrete or stucco terraces with cascading vines and fountains, the house includes a top-floor studio with louvered sea views. While Rand was very impressed with the design, describing it as “magnificent”, the project never materialized.
“The building marries Rand’s stern tendency with Wright’s celebration of nature,” observed Angi.
Lake Tahoe Lodge (Lake Tahoe, CA, 1923)
“The best [buildings] had life only on paper. The most interesting and vital stories could belong to these children of the imagination if they were ever to meet the field. Say, the Lake Tahoe project…” Wright wrote in the early 1940s.
Designed without commission for 200 acres of undeveloped land on a mountainous forested site in Emerald Bay, Wright’s utopian Lake Tahoe summer colony includes prototype cabins designed to fit the land as well as floating cabins in the bay below.
“High-walled terraces would reinforce the sense of isolation from society and attachment to nature,” Angi said.