Robie house, by Frank Lloyd Wright

I will hang my first post. It’s about one of the best architects in the world, Frank Lloyd Wright. I will make a small taste about one of my favourite’s houses: the Robie house.


The Robie house is placed in Oak Park, Chicago. It’s a residential zone of houses that emerged in early S. XX. In 1907 Mr. Robie, an engineer, entrusts his house to Wright. Both understood each other very well, because Mr. Robie knew very clear what he wanted. The house belongs to Wright’s stage of the ‘Prairie Houses’. All of them had the common denominator of looking for the horizontality (the parallel line to the meadow).

The floor consists of an additive system of volumes that interlace freely between them, like in the tradition Arts&Crafts. It is developed in two orthogonal axes that cross in the chimney and are extended on the landscape. The system of ornamentation consists of mouldings of dark wood. The accessories of light and ventilation are incorporated into the above mentioned elements. In this kind of houses, Wright flees of the links between the form and the preconceived forms. Therefore, we will never see a window, if not we’ll be seeing a gap between two elements (horizontal and vertical).

The Robie house is based on a module of 4 feet that structures the whole project. It is composed by three floors. The main access is realized by the back, having to go around the corner to be able to enter. The house also has an access for the staff, outdoors but cutlery, across the court. In the ground floor there are the services, a billiard room and a games room.

The first floor is the most important. It’s a continuous space who contains the dining and the living room. The chimney connects those spaces.

In the second floor there are three rooms. His roof is tilted, so when you go here, the feeling of homeless is greater, like in a cave. Wright made that effect also in other projects. This floor has the better privacy. The rooms have a direct contact with nature, so Wright incorporated it in their own balconies.

The floor plans are clean, without appliances, due to the fact that the chimney acts as a  rigid central core, from where two big girders go out in projecting.

In his design, Wright gives value to the most minimal detail, managing to design the furniture or, even, modulating the carpet. The carpets were very importants  because they were in use for delimiting and fitting spaces. The Robie house has got different weaves that make the function of ‘carpet’ along the tour across the house. It is a succession of spaces that go from the outside towards inside of the house, a tour up to his heart, his chimney.



– The illustrated history of an architectural masterpiece. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie house. DONALD HOFFMAN, Dover Publications, INC. New York, 1984.

-Frank Lloyd Wright. Prairie Houses. PFEIFFER, Bruce Brooks.

– Frank Lloyd Wright Monograph 1907-1913 Volume 3. A.D.A. Edita, Tokyo, 1987.

The Robie house of Frank Lloyd Wright.  CONNORS, JOSEPH.  Chicago; London University of Chicago Press, 1984.

-Frank Lloyd Wright, a cura di Bruno Zevi. Serie di Architettura /4. Zanichelli Editore Bologna.

– Frank Lloyd Wright to 1910. The first golden age. GRANT CARPENTIER MANSON. Van Nostran Reindhold company.

-Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, entity.

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