Taliesin Associated Architect Charles Schiffner's House Of The Future
The Whirling Arrow features a story about architect Charles Schiffner's "House Of The Future". In the late 1970s, Schiffner, an architect of Taliesin Associated Architects, the architecture firm created by Frank Lloyd Wright’s apprentices following his passing, was tasked with envisioning what the future of residential living might look like. Schiffner designed the House of the Future as a showcase of ideas, featuring innovative technologies and home automation, many of which are used in homes today.
Home automation and smart home technology have become exceedingly popular with virtual assistants, smart thermostats, and automatic doors, windows, and lights to solar panels, remote security systems, and keyless locks. In the not so distant past, these concepts were hard to grasp, and felt out of reach for the average homeowner.
In the House of the Future in Ahwatukee, Arizona, Schiffner, embraced these innovative concepts as early as 1978. Created as an experimental living laboratory and a testing ground of sorts for some of the latest and greatest home automation technologies of the time, the house helped pave the way for what we call smart homes today and is often labeled as the first microprocessor controlled house. Read more here.
Bike Tours & Kid-Friendly Design Workshops At Frank Lloyd Wright Homes
This summer, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust has lined up a handful of summer programming that’ll keep kids busy, and you’ll be able to tour the Prairie School architecture and learn about the neighborhood’s history on weekly bike tours. So, if you haven’t had a chance to see some of Wright’s historic homes now is a great time to visit. Plus, it might give you an opportunity to explore some of the beautiful historic neighborhoods his designs are located in, like Oak Park and Hyde Park. A rundown of the summer events from the FLW Trust here.
What Makes Oak Park So 'Cool'?
Apartment Therapy, which bills itself as "the leading independent home site, designed to inspire anyone to live a more beautiful and happy life at home," recently named Oak Park one of the 24 "Coolest Suburbs in America.".
Ken Trainor of OakPark.com states, "Frank Lloyd Wright's homes are visually inventive, as evidenced by "The Wright Triangle," three of his homes in close proximity: the Japanese-style Hills-DeCaro house; the Moore-Dugal house, an unlikely blend of English Tudor and Mayan influence; and across Forest Avenue, the prow-shaped Heurtley house façade, a nod to the original owner who was an avid seaman. All of this just down the street from Wright's Home & Studio, which might have been dismantled and shipped to Japan in the 1970s, were it not for a group of dedicated volunteers who acquired and restored the structure and launched Oak Park's tourism industry." Read more here.
Wright's Wausau Kitchen Plans Didn't Sell At Auction
Plans for the kitchen in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home at 904 Grand Ave., Wausau, Wisconsin, were being sold through the Boston-based auction house RR Auction, but the plans were pulled from the sale because a bid of $5,000 did not meet the seller's minimum price of about $8,000.
The drawings are on one 45-by-29.5-inch page and include an overhead view of the kitchen, which featured an open-concept design and a curved wall. The plans also include schematics of appliances, a movable work table, counter tops and cabinets. Frank Lloyd Wright approved the plans with his initials.
Mike Graff of RR Auction which specializes in rare documents and artifacts, said the auction house likely will try to sell the drawings again. "Sometimes it takes a few months" to drive up interest in a particular item, he said. See the drawings here.
Kentuck Knob Offering Farm-To-Table Dinners
Kentuck Knob is offering three summer, al fresco dinners at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in Chalk Hill, Fayette County. The dinner series includes an optional house tour and a multi-course farm-to-table meal, says MaryAnn Perkins, manager of operations.
Dinners are sourced from local producers, and the meals are BYOB, she adds. Each meal can accommodate a maximum of 50 diners. Musical accompaniment is planned, with acoustic guitarist Jeremy Frantz playing for the June and August dinners, and entertainment planned for the July meal as well. Tickets with the walk-through are $120; dinner only is $95. More information here.
Wright's Stuart Richardson House For Sale
Frank Lloyd Wright's Stuart Richardson House is for sale in Glen Ridge, NJ. Built in 1951, the home has appeared in numerous articles and books; Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian Houses praised its “beautiful millwork”—as seen in its handsome cypress-plank walls— and The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion singled it out as perhaps the earliest example of the architect’s experiments with hexagonal floor patterns.
Other showcase design elements include a dramatic cantilevered entryway into a spacious screened-in porch; an atrium with a window wall that opens onto a bricked-in side garden; a cozy, bookshelf-lined study; skylights throughout; a master bedroom with a commanding fireplace; and built-in desks, dressers, tables, and cabinets that are original to the home. The hexagonal rooms are warmly illuminated by the distinctive triangular recessed lights that the architect also used in the Guggenheim Museum. More information here.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park Studio Gets New Visitor Center
Frank Lloyd Wright’s popular home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois, is getting a new visitor and education center designed by Chicago firm John Ronan Architects, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust announced Monday.
The upcoming facility will include roughly 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space for the thousands of students and architecture fans that flock to the National Historic Landmark each year. The project will provide a plaza, conference room, design classrooms, exhibition spaces, and administrative offices. Although modern in its appearance, the understated addition avoids detracting from Wright’s creation. “The design challenge was how to put a building on this very important site that is architecturally significant in its own right without upstaging the building that everyone came to see,” architect John Ronan told Curbed Chicago.
Wright designed the original 1889 structure on Chicago Avenue as a personal residence and later expanded it to include a studio where he and his pupils drafted many of the architect’s iconic designs. The nonprofit Frank Lloyd Wright Trust owns, maintains, and operates the site as a museum and a base for tours exploring Oak Park’s historic district. More here.
New Bentonville Exhibit Connects Environment To Art
The connection between art and nature guides the latest temporary exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. That relationship is the point of departure for the entire exhibition, which challenges the viewer to consider humanity's relationship with and effect on the environment.
Frank Lloyd Wright, Dorothea Lange, John James Audubon, Ansel Adams and Albert Bierstadt are among the artists featured in the exhibition, as well as several indigenous artists who were included in Crystal Bridges' 2018 exhibition "Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now." More information here.
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