Frank Lloyd Wright firmly believed that "life could be formed anew if new form could be brought to its setting, architecture." His revolt against customary architectural design was shared by rugged individualist Fred C. Robie, who chose Wright to build his dream house in 1908. In this painstakingly researched and illuminating account of the design and construction of the Robie home, a noted architectural authority presents an in-depth study remarkable for clarity and thoroughness.
At age 28, Robie had become a highly successful businessman who conceived the idea of building a grand home in his native Chicago. He insisted on a design incorporating features that were innovative for the day: hallways and stairwells situated to conserve valuable space, rooms that suggested feelings of airiness, and narrow trimmings on doorways and windows, among others. Robie's wish to shape space as a means of personal expression meshed with Wright's own feelings and spirit. The two strong-willed men formed a perfect union: Robie had found his architect and Wright his ideal client.
Drawing on revealing family documents, including a 1958 interview with Robie, and a host of other sources, the author has compiled an authoritative photo-history, enabling the reader to witness each stage and various transformations of a landmark of modern architecture. The text is enhanced by 160 carefully selected illustrations, including perspectives and elevations, cross-sectional drawings, floor plans, designs for windows, carpets, lighting fixtures and other furnishings, plus recent and historic photographs. Now students, architects, any lover of fine buildings can watch an architectural masterpiece take shape in this profusely illustrated history of the house Wright himself labeled "a source of world-wide architectural inspiration."