Frank Lloyd Wright in Greystones
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January 6, 2008 at 11:10 pm #709760Adolf LuasParticipant
Has anyone seen Europe’s only Frank Lloyd Wright building…………….in Greystones, County Wicklow!!!
January 7, 2008 at 2:10 am #796802AnonymousInactive
You see I don’t believe that: is there some tricky sense in which your statement is true.
January 7, 2008 at 9:37 am #796803AnonymousInactive
In that great internet tradition: Pics or it didn’t happen. 😉
January 7, 2008 at 4:41 pm #796804AnonymousInactive
It happened all right. It is now built. The owner is a fan of FLlW, submitted a thesis on his work, and bought the designs from the Taliesan Foundation. The planning application drawings,whioh may inspected at Wicklow Co Co, say that they are based on FLlW’s designs. I think one of Mr Wright’s (as they call him) “boys” visited the site and recommended a suitable design. It seems to be very well built, by James N Earls n Sons n Daughter and the original details were made workabe in the context of 21st Century Bldg Regs by CMB design, 7 St Stephen’s Green. The bricks were specially made to old american dimensions, but it has cavity walls and double glazing.
January 7, 2008 at 4:56 pm #796805AnonymousInactive
Its a replica: how funny! I just bought one of those cheesy 1950s blueprints for homes books on the ebay: the “modernist” issue and was day dreaming about what fun it would be to build one now, I guess someone has taken it further. Please post pictures!
January 7, 2008 at 8:14 pm #796806AnonymousInactive
It’s fairly bizarre, a sort of living Photoshop experience. The house, which looks as if it should reside in Oak Park but appears equally at home in suburban Greystones looks very well made but is slightly let down by very ordinary landscaping (probably the existing garden of whatever was previously on the site) and a horrid tarmac drive. I’ve been to Poundbury in Dorset a couple of times where Prince Charles has been the driving force behind an entire community of brand new 18th and 19th century style buildings, my Aunt, who was with me at the time said she felt like she was in ‘The Prisoner’ (60’s TV series set in Port Merrion, Wales), I know what she meant, it was odd seeing all these dwellings that are new but old. Greystones is similar, mainly because of a brand spanking new Frank Lloyd Wright house but is ultimately far more successful than old Jug Ears’ anachronistic vision for England. Other than de Blacam and Meagher’s faithful but sterile copy of Adolf Loos’ Karntner Bar in Trinity College I can’t think of any other examples (excepting Archers Garage) in this country. I first heard about this last October and am amazed it’s remained unknown. Expect the nation’s property journalists to scour the suburbs of Greystones any time soon.
January 8, 2008 at 9:34 am #796807AnonymousInactive
The design is one of a large number produced by Wright (and office) where the plan is based on the geometry of a circle at the corner of a square. I think one of the later versions of this design was produced for a couple in Maryland, on a similar site. I imagine the owner will reveal all in due course.
January 8, 2008 at 9:36 am #796808AnonymousInactive
P.S. There was an interesting in the AR about twenty years ago on how the provost’s house TCD is the fifth copy of a design by Palladio.
January 8, 2008 at 12:10 pm #796809AnonymousInactive
might be of interest.
The Massaro house, built 50 years after it was originally designed.
January 22, 2008 at 1:59 pm #796810AnonymousInactive
The Wright house is the cover story in today’s Construct Ireland (Issue 11 Vol 3). With photos, ctesiphon!
January 22, 2008 at 4:42 pm #796811AnonymousInactive
Ask and you shall receive!
January 23, 2008 at 6:40 pm #796812AnonymousInactive
I saw this building in Construction Ireland. And it made me feel a bit unnerved. Something didnt seem wright about building this house after wright was dead, and having to “fill in the gaps”. But then I also have seen Corb’s Firminy project recently finished, which although made me feel a bit strange was much more satisfying, partly because it is a really beautiful design, but i guess fundamentally because it was built on it’s intended site. i think you can get over the anachronistic element of this kind of thing but something about particularily such an articulated building being picked up and dropped on another site, with a very different climate feels very wrong.
in terms of authorship i dont think you can call this a FLW building. but then again you cant say that its not either.
March 6, 2008 at 12:56 am #796813AnonymousInactive
Frank Lloyd Wright builder fears bungalow blitz
Marc Coleman is afraid that a house to be built on a site next door to him in Greystones, Co Wicklow, will compromise the integrity of his Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home
IT IS incredible that there is Frank Lloyd Wright house in Greystones, Co Wicklow, but for owner Marc Coleman, the recently completed building is the realization of a 27-year dream. He first came across the American architect when Dr Edward McParland put Wright’s Robie house in Chicago up on screen during a Trinity lecture.
“I was 18 and I was just amazed,” says Coleman, sitting in his new home surrounded by books on Wright. “When I saw Robie I loved the sleekness of design, the low gables, the band windows and window walls, the eaves held up by mullions, the simple materials, the link with nature and the fact that the house was like a series of decks, giving it a ship-like quality.”
And this new house, in a neighbourhood of detached houses near the sea, displays all that Wrightean horizontal sleekness with soaring overhangs that are perfect for keeping the rain off. But Coleman now feels that this work will be compromised by a proposed new bungalow on the site next door, which has received planning permission and is now awaiting a decision from An Bord PleanÃ¡la.
It will certainly offer an exercise in compare and contrast between two very different styles of architecture: one belongs to the horizontal plane that represented a new movement in the US and across the world in the first half of the last century; the other is of the dormer window, pitched roof bungalow style that has offered bliss to many across the land.
Coleman says that he is happy for people to build what they like, as long as it respects the land and buildings around it, but he feels that the proposed new house is too close to his and, being higher, will drown his home. “The scaling, massing and proximity will compromise the integrity of the Frank Lloyd Wright house.”
Coleman’s neighbour, Kieran O’Carroll, says that he doesn’t wish to comment while awaiting the decision from An Bord PleanÃ¡la.
Coleman’s house was originally designed in 1959 for the Wieland family in Maryland, which has the same amount of rainfall as the Irish east coast, despite its hotter summers and crueller winters. The site was almost identical, falling by 10ft from top to bottom, which is part of the reason why the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation gave Coleman the design. When he was ready to build the house, and knock down the 1970s bungalow he and his family had lived in for 17 years, he called the foundation and spoke to Thomas Casey who had worked with Wright.
Casey came to Greystones, paced the site with Coleman and returned to the foundation archives to find suitable designs. Irish architects Tom Creed and CMB Design Group worked on the project here while the build was managed by Coleman himself, who is a project manager.
“That was crucial: Wright would send an apprentice to live on site to make sure it was built how he intended.”
The striking thing about this house, for anyone who has seen Wright originals, is how new all of the materials look. The interior stands testament to Wright’s humanism, with its warm timbers, clever use of low and high ceilings to demarcate intimate and social spaces, and its link with nature.
The other striking aspect is the keen sense of proportion and measurement. All of the lights line up beautifully and the whole design is on a 4ft square grid. This may sound pedantic, but there are six bricks to every 4ft grid and bricks line up perfectly with the floor, offering just one example of the exact measurements throughout the house.
Such attention to detail creates a sense of everything being right with the world and of being in the hands of a competent architect who cares or, in the words of Coleman,”a genius”. While many architects today pay that attention to detail, plenty of designers, developers and builders take a more cavalier, sure-it’ll-do approach.
Coleman has taken great care in sourcing the right materials – the 30,000 bricks were made for this project, in Scotland, the three-ply redwood and Douglas Fir used internally, came from Germany and Canada, while the western red cedar roof timber and floor joists came from Finland – and Coleman has ensured the house’s sustainability with copious natural insulation and a carbon neutral wood-chip heating system, something he feels that nature loving Wright would have embraced if he were alive today.
Despite being designed more than 50 years ago, Coleman says the design is “almost more current in our fast-paced lives. A lot of contemporary architecture is not about human beings, it can be cold, whereas this is very human and natural with its natural materials, integration of nature and mathematical integrity of space and proportion; it’s no wonder that you feel well in Frank Lloyd Wright buildings.”
The house has already come to the attention of architects. Pritzker prizewinner Glenn Murcutt paid a visit, as did architect Steve Barton of Fletcher Priest. “Another architect came last Saturday and was so inspired he later told me that he had redesigned a whole project he was doing on a grid system.”
The man Coleman holds responsible for all this, Eddie McParland, also phoned to say that he wanted to bring students up to see the house.
“I’m really thrilled,” says Coleman. “That’s what I’m trying to do: build a Frank Lloyd Wright and leave something behind that people can come and learn from.”
Â© 2008 The Irish Times
March 6, 2008 at 10:46 am #796814AnonymousInactive
Hard to see much from these photos but it looks well made. The driveway and landscaping are pretty poor from the looks of the first pic.
March 6, 2008 at 10:57 am #796815AnonymousInactive
It looks worse in today’s IT photos, (not available in the on-line edition.)
I never could understand why landscaping is an afterthought (if ever) in most Irish developments.
March 6, 2008 at 11:34 am #796816AnonymousInactive
In a general sense if you look at the ridiculous one off houses built across the country with no regard to site, location, orientation etc it would make a massive difference if this attitude of plonking the suburban lawn onto a site changed.
The houses are already built and irredeemable but the landscaping is easily changed and could definitely soften these houses impacts and integrate them somewhat into the landscape.
March 6, 2008 at 1:12 pm #796817adminKeymaster
I never could understand why landscaping is an afterthought (if ever) in most Irish developments.
Because theres scarcely a penny left at the end of a job & it literally is an after though in most cases kb. Even in situations where money is not an issue, inevitably the build has gone over budget & whether the client has the money or not, they tend to be closing the money tap with a large wrench by the time the poor ‘aul landscape designer gets a call … you’re often left wondering why the fuck they bothered calling you in the first place.
Of course they’ve just spent 100k on the kitchen & 50k on an integrated sound system – its a psychological thing, clients just don’t think of the garden in those terms, 100k to fit out a room internally, 15k to cover an area that is normally several times the footprint of the house. Do ye do the decking and the lot ?
You do get the odd insightful client that wants the landscape designer involved from the off, in an effort to achieve interior & exterior spaces that work with each other. Unfortunately though, there is normally very little or no contact between architect & their landscape equivalents when really both disciplines should be heavily integrated.
Rant over 😉
March 6, 2008 at 1:19 pm #796818AnonymousInactive
I’m surprised the Wright Foundation didn’t make landscaping a condition of the right to use the design. FLW must be turning in his grave.
March 7, 2008 at 10:37 am #796819AnonymousInactive
Hear, hear Peter Fitz
March 11, 2008 at 12:00 am #796820Paul ClerkinKeymaster
Piece with photos
March 11, 2008 at 10:52 am #796821AnonymousInactive
does anyone know where exactly in Greystones this house is?
March 11, 2008 at 11:48 am #796822AnonymousInactive
I’ve a fair idea, should I post it here though ? :confused:
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