Friday, April 22, 2005

Building Silicon Valley

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hanna House, nestled on a hill on the Stanford campus in Palo Alto. Built in 1936 as a “modest residence” for a Stanford professor and his family (although Wright’s estimated budget ballooned from $15,000 to $37,000), it is a series of hexagon shapes clustered around a central fireplace. The hexagons repeat as a leitmotif in carpet and bathroom tiles, prompting the nickname “Honeycomb House.”

Noted by the American Institute of Architects as one of 17 landmarks that represent Wright’s significant contribution to American society, the Hanna House was really the first “outside the box” design for Wright, who craved to free himself from traditional rectangular structures.

Greatly damaged by 1989’s earthquake, it took nearly 10 years and $2 million to complete a seismic retrofit, but the house has been re-opened for public tours by reservation.

Read the entire article in The Wave

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