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Houlihan Lawrence
Houlihan Lawrence

For Sale: A Frank Lloyd Wright Home With a Waterfall

Houlihan Lawrence
Houlihan Lawrence

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater isn’t the only home designed by the architect to include a waterfall. In the years preceding Wright’s death in 1959, he designed Tirranna, a U-shaped residence in New Canaan, Connecticut. (The name “Tirranna” is an aboriginal Australian word meaning “running waters.”) The house sits next to a pond fed by the nearby Noroton River and overlooks a tiny cascade. Experts say it’s one of around 400 of Wright’s remaining works in America—and now, it can belong to a fan willing to shell out just over $7 million for a piece of architectural history.

Tirranna’s most recent owners were Ted Stanley, a philanthropist and entrepreneur, and his wife Vada, according to The Wall Street Journal. The two purchased the home around 20 years ago, but Vada Stanley passed away in 2013, and Ted Stanley last year. In January, the home was listed for $8 million. It’s still on the market, so its sellers have lowered the asking price to $7.2 million.

Tirranna has seven bedrooms and sits on 15 acres of forest. In addition to the pond and waterfall, the grounds include gardens designed by Frank Okamura, the landscape architect for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden; a tennis court; a barn and a stable; a swimming pool; a greenhouse; a guest house; and a workshop.

The home itself has been renovated, but it still bears all the stylistic marks of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed abode: gold leaf-covered chimneys, skylights, built-in bookshelves, and floor-to-ceiling glass window that provide sweeping views of the surrounding forest. Originally, it contained Wright-designed furnishings, but many items of furniture were sold by prior owners, so the Stanleys commissioned reproductions after they purchased the property.

View some pictures of Tirranna below, or visit the online listing for more images (or to make an offer!).

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut

All photos courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence.

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Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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architecture
Qatar National Library's Panorama-Style Bookshelves Offer Guests Stunning Views
Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The newly opened Qatar National Library in the capital city of Doha contains more than 1 million books, some of which date back to the 15th century. Co.Design reports that the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) designed the building so that the texts under its roof are the star attraction.

When guests walk into the library, they're given an eyeful of its collections. The shelves are arranged stadium-style, making it easy to appreciate the sheer number of volumes in the institution's inventory from any spot in the room. Not only is the design photogenic, it's also practical: The shelves, which were built from the same white marble as the floors, are integrated into the building's infrastructure, providing artificial lighting, ventilation, and a book-return system to visitors. The multi-leveled arrangement also gives guests more space to read, browse, and socialize.

"With Qatar National Library, we wanted to express the vitality of the book by creating a design that brings study, research, collaboration, and interaction within the collection itself," OMA writes on its website. "The library is conceived as a single room which houses both people and books."

While most books are on full display, OMA chose a different route for the institution's Heritage Library, which contains many rare, centuries-old texts on Arab-Islamic history. This collection is housed in a sunken space 20 feet below ground level, with beige stone features that stand out from the white marble used elsewhere. Guests need to use a separate entrance to access it, but they can look down at the collection from the ground floor above.

If Qatar is too far of a trip, there are plenty of libraries in the U.S. that are worth a visit. Check out these panoramas of the most stunning examples.

Qatar library.

Qatar library.

Qatar library.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images: Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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After Four Months, a Frank Lloyd Wright House in Glencoe, Illinois Goes Back on the Market

Most architecture nerds would be thrilled to live in an original Frank Lloyd Wright house, and occasionally, they get their chance—as long as they’re willing to pay a few million dollars. As of late 2017, there were Frank Lloyd Wright homes for sale in New York, Minnesota, Ohio, Connecticut, and elsewhere for $1 million dollars or more (in some cases, way more). Sometimes, you can find a deal, though, like the $445,000 Usonian home that went on the market in Michigan in 2016.

Sadly, as Curbed reports, a newly for-sale Wright house in Glencoe, Illinois is not such a deal anymore. Only three months after its $752,000 sale, the 1914 Kier House in suburban Chicago has been renovated and is back on the market for $837,500.

Many Wright homes need a little love after decades of use. For one thing, the architect is somewhat notorious for building leaky roofs. Their small kitchens and shag carpeting are no longer quite so desirable, either.

But for many buyers and architects, restoring a Wright home is a labor of love, one that often takes several years and aims to respect the original designer’s genius while bringing the house up to modern standards. (For some of the historic homes, permanent easements also prohibit most exterior alterations, further limiting what a remodel can involve.)

The Prairie School-style house, though it has Honorary Landmark status, isn’t entirely original to Wright. It has a more modern kitchen, a new family room, and updated bathrooms (with a steam shower!). Previous owner Susan Cowen, who owned the house for a number of years and spent an undisclosed amount on refurbishing it, sold the residence in January to a pair of documentary filmmakers, according to Patch. The sale, which included a significant price drop, only took a few months. They, in turn, made a number of improvements. The owners fixed up the chimneys, boiler, and furnace, added a limestone bar separating the kitchen and dining room, and raised part of the ceiling above the stairs.

Now, four months later, it’s on sale again, and, thanks to the upgrades, a little pricier. The latest sellers may find, though, that not every Wright sale goes as quickly as their purchase. The architect’s homes are highly prized, but also known to be very difficult to sell, sometimes languishing on the market for years before finding a buyer.

[h/t Curbed]

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