The Wright Stuff

Designed and built for devotees of the Frank Lloyd Wright style of architecture, this 5500-square-foot home commands a nearly 360-degree view of the manicured fairways of two championship golf courses from its hilltop site in Lemont, Ill.

September 01, 1999

Designed and built for devotees of the Frank Lloyd Wright style of architecture, this 5500-square-foot home commands a nearly 360-degree view of the manicured fairways of two championship golf courses from its hilltop site in Lemont, Ill.

Sought out by his clients because of his expertise in Wright’s style of architecture, architect Louis Narcisi designed the home in the shape of a cross with the living areas radiating out from a central hub. The home’s low profile, deep overhangs and earth-tone color scheme are all classic features of the Wright school of architecture.

Home and homage: The owners of this Lemont, Ill residence would settle for nothing less than an accurate and faithful presentation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie-style design. The broadest part of the stone chimneys are oriented perpendicular to the windows so as not to obstruct the spectacular view afforded by this hilltop site.

"The rectilinear lines are constant throughout the home, from the overhangs outside to the trimwork inside," says builder Tim O’Neil. Designed to mimic the natural contours of the site, the interior’s high point is the kitchen and central stairwell. The rest of the living space radiates down into three separate wings, which include the formal and informal entertaining zones and the master suite.

The fourth leg of the cross includes the utility room, guest room and the oversized, three-car garage. Three unique fireplaces, crafted of the same locally-quarried stone as that used on the home’s exterior, provide a focal point in each of the separate wings. Flanked by French doors and large windows, the fireplaces are positioned to be a perpendicular element in the room. This allows them to serve as a key interior element without detracting from the outdoor views offered by the French doors and large windows.

Real showstoppers inside the home are dramatic twin staircases which rise from the two-story stairwell to the second floor bedroom level. Custom crafted in a local shop and then assembled on site, they were one of the most labor-intensive features of the home according to O’Neil. True to the Wright style of architecture, the home’s massive 8-foot oak front door is practically hidden as you approach the home.

 

The rectilinear lines of this home are evident both inside and outside, as are the natural materials which are indigenous to the area. The stone used to construct the fireplaces complements the brick used to accent the exterior which matches the stone used on the patio.

"You actually need to search out the entry," says Narcisi, "The whole idea is to travel down a path, view different sights along the way, and then discover the front door."

The home received a design award for excellence in architecture from the American Institute of Architects, Eastern Illinois Chapter.

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