BUEHLER, MAYNARD AND KATHARINE, HOUSE

Description:
The Buehler House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1949, was one of twelve Usonian houses in California. The house like all Usonians, is laid out on a grid system inscribed in the exposed concrete floor. Much of the house is steel frame with wood panel cladding; other portions are concrete block. A swimming pool, guest house and playhouse are contributors on the site. The site also includes a large formal Japanese garden with several associated structures; a gazebo, Tea House, and five bridges. The Japanese garden was developed in the 1960s and 1970s by Henry Matsutani, an important Bay Area landscape designer, noted for his Japanese gardens. The garden is included within the boundaries as part of setting. The property was listed under Criterion C at the state level of significance as an excellent example of type and period, as the work of a master, and for its high artistic value. Beginning in 1936 with the Jacobs House in Madison, Wisconsin, Frank Lloyd Wright built what would be his first Usonian House - a small, efficient, affordable, artistic, and naturalistic house for the middleclass. He would continue to design Usonian houses across the country until his death in 1959; each unique to its site and owner. The Buehler House exemplifies the major characteristics that define the Usonian style. It is a modest house with strongly horizontal lines that is integrated closely with its environment and is organized to facilitate an informal, family oriented lifestyle. It exemplifies the innovations in construction and technology that Wright sought to introduce into home design to reduce costs for the average buyer, such as radiant heating, panel wall construction, use of steel structural materials, and organizing the building on a geometric grid system. The Buehler House exemplifies Wright’s conviction that small, economical houses could be realized through beautiful, natural materials, careful special organization, and simplicity of design.


Registration Date: 12/12/2006

Location:
City: Orinda
County: Contra Costa

Directions:
6 Great Oak Circle


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