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March 6, 2008

Frank Lloyd Wright builder fears bungalow blitz

It is incredible that there is Frank Lloyd Wright house in Greystones, Co Wicklow, but for owner Marc Coleman, the recently completed building is the realization of a 27-year dream. He first came across the American architect when Dr Edward McParland put Wright’s Robie house in Chicago up on screen during a Trinity lecture. “I was 18 and I was just amazed,” says Coleman, sitting in his new home surrounded by books on Wright. “When I saw Robie I loved the sleekness of design, the low gables, the band windows and window walls, the eaves held up by mullions, the simple materials, the link with nature and the fact that the house was like a series of decks, giving it a ship-like quality.” And this new house, in a neighbourhood of detached houses near the sea, displays all that Wrightean horizontal sleekness with soaring overhangs that are perfect for keeping the rain off. But Coleman now feels that this work will be compromised by a proposed new bungalow on the site next door, which has received planning permission and is now awaiting a decision from An Bord Pleanala. It will certainly offer an exercise in compare and contrast between two very different styles of architecture: one belongs to the horizontal plane that represented a new movement in the US and across the world in the first half of the last century; the other is of the dormer window, pitched roof bungalow style that has offered bliss to many across the land.

The Irish Times

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