Dr. H. and Dorothy H. Turkel Residence (1955)

Detroit, Michigan
HW #47

The building is the latest of Wright’s Usonian designs, best shown for his usage of in-situ concrete blocks as the primary cladding and masonry structure, rather than stone, brick or wood. By then, he probably realized the efficiency and affordability of concrete and expected this to be the true Usonian material, as opposed to the pricy stone or wood that he used in his prior supposedly affordable designs. However, once again, his intention was overcome with the reality of the delicacy and complexity of the layers of his building – The CMU windows are composed of an interior and exterior portion, sandwiching a glass panel in between. The concrete presents the house with a modern feel, but the emptiness and coldness of a typical modern interior is overcome with his stained red concrete tiles and wood furnishing. The owner gave us a tour of the house and expressed that it was like “”living inside a sculpture”.

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