Forever Frank

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Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty follows in the footsteps of the master by visiting a splendid house in Houston.

I’m a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright. So, clearly, is the designer of 5477 Doliver Dr in Tanglewood, Houston, Texas – the sought-after neighbourhood which was once described as the best sub-division in America.

Those followers of Frank Lloyd Wright consider the great man to be the grandfather of modern architecture, and his influence is seen all around the world over a hundred years since he up his practise in 1893.

5477 Doliver Dr is a very fine house that unashamedly follows Lloyd Wright signatures – deep, over-sailing eaves that create a strong feeling of intimacy and shelter, and windows that provide curtains of glass which, in parts, join at the building’s corners without vertical mullions – giving the exterior brickwork the appearance that it is somehow floating.  These, and the shallow pitched, Prairie styled roof, plus the strong vertical and horizontal lines all suggest the master’s influence.

But influence is one thing; carrying it out successfully in a new building is quite another. I’d say that this has been done very well indeed. This is a no nonsense house. No frippery here. It is a crisp space of brick, stone and timber. Yet these warm, natural materials contribute in making it a house ideal for family and entertaining.

But what I really loved about this house is the craftsmanship. Frank Lloyd Wright was a pioneer in the Arts and Crafts movement. To him fine craftsmanship was as integral to the houses he designed as clean, sharp elevations. Here the superior craftsmanship is to be seen everywhere, especially the woodwork. It screams quality of design and execution – with the use of two-tone timber in cabinetry and doorframes of particular note and merit.

So there we have it – touchingly and imaginatively conceived, superbly built, and handsomely located – a house of today, inspired by yesterday, for an owner of tomorrow.

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