As more white-collar employees are returning to work onsite, we continue to speculate what the post-pandemic office should be. One of the most-discussed trends, which began before the pandemic but is expected to take on new resonance in the present circumstances, is incorporating home-like elements into office interiors.
The homey office is actually an idea Frank Lloyd Wright implemented almost 120 years ago. Wright claimed his design promoted the wellbeing of employees, but it was the men at the top who benefited the most. The same might be true today.
In 1903, Wright designed a new administration building for the Larkin Company, a successful mail-order business in Buffalo, New York. The building featured a number of amenities that were extraordinary for the time, including a lounge with sofas and armchairs, potted ferns, a piano, and a fireplace, where staff could read or nap during their breaks. A dining room decorated with paintings and leather and wood furniture provided a refined setting for lunch, which was complemented once a week with live music played on a built-in organ. There was even a rooftop garden where employees could stroll among the greenery. These and other details were intended to provide a “restful, harmonious environment,” Wright explained in the company newsletter, and promote the “health and cheerfulness” of employees.
In today’s office, what kind of comfort can homeyness really provide? Perhaps like Wright’s experiment, the sofas and throw pillows are more about psychological rather than physical comfort for engaging in work. Read more about these ideas here.
How do you deal with tourists when your home is a piece of history?
Chuck Henderson’s grandmother, Della Walker, was a lover of architecture — so much that she was able to commission a home in California built by the world-renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Mrs. Clinton Walker House in Carmel-by-the-Sea was completed in 1951 and passed into the hands of Henderson and some of his relatives when Walker died. No one lives in it full time, but the different family members and their guests take turns staying there.
Wright fans will come from all over the world to try and get glimpses of some of his masterpieces. While some, like the famous Fallingwater house in Pennsylvania, are year-round attractions, others remain private residences.
Many people who own homes featured in architecture textbooks have to add the cost of security measures onto other expenses like utilities and homeowners insurance.
“We put these security cameras in after we had some vandalism about six or seven years ago,” Henderson says. “We have people go walking right by the ‘private property, no trespassing’ sign. We’ve had people dancing in our carport. We get a few people wandering up as a surprise, and as long as they don’t do anything wrong we don’t try to call the police. We’re on a beach surrounded by road and don’t have a lawn, but we had a family of deer.”
When it comes to living in a much-photographed place, some people try to take the good with the bad. Henderson and his relatives have come to some compromises in order to let design buffs explore the home while also maintaining their privacy. They occasionally rent it out for photo shoots, most recently a campaign by eye wear brand Oliver Peoples.
In addition, they open the home to the public one day a year to benefit the local Carmel Heritage Society. In 2021, 657 people came bought tickets and toured the property.
“For us it’s a tremendous pleasure to be able to share the house and see so many people happy and excited about it,” says Henderson. “And it allows us to be able to tell people when it is open. It gives them an option (to visit) and we don’t have to be the Grinch.” More here.
The current (and second) owner of the Sheats-Goldstein House is entrepreneur James F. Goldstein. He purchased the home from Helen and Paul Sheats in 1972. It was originally built between 1961 and 1963 by famed architect John Lautner, who was one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s protegees. Made from poured-in-place concrete, steel, and wood, the 4500 square foot house has five bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms.
This incredible piece of real estate has been featured on television, in commercials, and in movies including The Big Lebowski, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, and most recently Space Jam 2. Located in the Beverly Crest neighborhood in Los Angeles, a stone’s throw from Beverly Hills, it is a sight to behold with some of the most jaw-dropping views the area has to offer.
In 2016, Goldstein announced that the home would be donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) upon his death. The donation includes almost everything in the house including the furniture and art. It is one of the most culturally and architecturally important homes in the area.
Amanda Lauren of Fobes was given an exclusive behind-the-scenes walk through. Read her article and see the photos by clicking here.
Imperial Hotel Ltd. on Wednesday unveiled the new exterior design for its aging main building in central Tokyo, which is scheduled to be rebuilt by fiscal 2036.
The new design by Paris-based Japanese architect Tsuyoshi Tane, based on a fusion between a Western palace and a tower, invokes the image of a staircase, with floor space narrowing with height.
"The Imperial Hotel will have a presence that can be recognized from any vantage point," the hotel's president Hideya Sadayasu said at a press conference in Tokyo, as he highlighted the difference between his hotel and other luxury accommodations in the capital.
Tane, who also attended the press conference, said that his design will inherit the "Jewel of the Orient" concept, which was used to describe the second remodeling of the main building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and expressed his intention to use stone for the exterior. More here.