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Organic Architecture

 

  

BRUCE GOFF
John and Grace Lee Frank House - 1956
1300 Luker Ln, Sapulpa, Oklahoma

 

The Franks were a family of potters who manufactured tableware and ornamental pottery which today is considered highly collectable. By utilizing ceramics throughout the home, Goff designed a house for the Frank family which incorporates the talents and skills of the homeowners.

The house is built on a radial plan which revolves around a point that is identified on the driveway at the rear of the house. Two large brick drum-like forms protrude from the house and frame the entry. Each brick on these brick protrusions has been hand glazed, using the glazes developed by John and Grace Frank. The drum-like forms are accented by large round pots which are placed above to create a sense of drama. The steel framed entry door is incorporated into a unique glass and ceramic screen. The screen itself is constructed by sandwiching and gluing a pane of glass between two specially designed ceramic pieces. The ceramic pieces were designed by Goff and Frank to provide a perforated screen to add a level of privacy to the glazing, and were manufactured in the Frank pottery.

The interior is very interesting in its versatility. The Franks wanted to be able to hold large dinner parties, and so the house is designed so that all the interior walls can be folded away to create one uninterrupted space. The main focus of the interior space is the large fireplace, with its inverted cone chimney which seems to hang in thin air. The fireplace is finished in a cream coloured ceramic tile. In contrast to the cold surfaces of the ceramic tiles, carpet is used in the main living area. The carpet is carried over the couch and up the columns to the ceiling, giving an impression of a singular flowing surface.

Along the length of the entire house is a clerestory window that brings natural light into what is otherwise a relatively insular building. There is however a deliberate attempt to bring materials from the inside out, and to design the house using an elemental approach.


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