Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian Houses: Designs for Moderate Cost One-Family Homes
How do you build innovative, energy-conscious, low-cost houses that are specifically suited to individual sites and a family's informal life style? Such issues pose complex problems for architects practicing today, yet Frank Lloyd Wright successfully resolved them in the houses he built in the later period of his prolific career. Known as his Usonian houses, these works have a particular relevance today because of the current concern for energy conservation, ecological integrity, and personalized design.
After defining organic architecture, John Sergeant shows how the first Usonian - the Jacobs house built in 1937 - incorporates Wright's techniques. Sergeant then explores how the Usonian design was adapted to meet the special needs of over fifty clients in climates as different as those of the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes, and the Mississippi basin.
Then the author describes Taliesin - the experimental, creative, cooperative community where Wright and his associates worked and lived - and shows how the Usonian concept was carried out in practice there. Broadacre City, Wright's plan for the "nation urbanized," is discussed as the context for the Usonian houses, as well as for Wright's populist social program. Sergeant not only reviews the contemporary criticism of the radical proposal for city planning, but relates it to today's changing social and environmental awareness. He concludes by summarizing the implications of organic design at both the individual level of the Usonian dwelling and the social level of the Broadacre community.
This well-illustrated, serious appraisal of Wright's later period provides a timely approach to solving some of today's most urgent needs.
New York, NY
Architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright
Sergeant, John, "Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian Houses: Designs for Moderate Cost One-Family Homes" (1984). Frank Lloyd Wright Book Collection. 137.