The axial design of this house and its gardens finds its genesis in the unfinished Villa Madama in Rome (1517, Mannerism), from Raphael Sanzio. The way the patio, incomplete, ended up embracing the garden, was largely developed in the Late Baroque. Examples of this are the Palaces of Stupinigi and Karlsruhe. This theme is taken up in the work of Norman Shaw in Chesters, 1894, and Edwin Lutyens, in Papillon Hall, 1903. It is however in the work of Wright, Solar Hemicycle (Herbert Jacobs House) in Middleton, Wisconsin, 1943-48, that we find this typological and conceptual movement developed under the aegis of organicist philosophy. The sketches and plants allow us to understand the complex diversity of views so different that appear on photographs. Its shape in plan is reportedly zoomorphic, analogy of a winged being, inspired in a butterfly.
The spacious terraces and the living room's porch have privileged views over the gardens and the indoor pool. In this picture we can see how the big window of the fitness room finishes off the pool.
The coverage was molded upon sheets of solid concrete, creating vaulted ceilings, in domes of very smooth curvature. The cover is coated with copper, which gives it a great discretion in the landscape.
This longitudinal section, on the main axis, shows, in this sector, the kitchen, with its prominent dome and skylights. On the right side, one can understand the bow window.
The porch for cars likewise falls in the elaborate geometry of the implantation of this house. The acrylic milky transparency is particularly suitable for the zoomorphic analogy.
Like in Wright, the fire represents the symbolic center of the house. The oval shape of the chimney is in the axial center of the composition and concentrates the fireplaces of the two living rooms (the living room from upstairs and the downstairs' lounge) and the grill in the garden terrace.
The front façade is scored by the big window of the kitchen. It is possible to perceive here two requests from the client. The first one was that the house should be subtle when observed from the street. The other one was that the kitchen should be the center of the house, faithful to the countryside tradition. Interestingly, this option rendered the conception of this typology of exception very contemporary, more similar to the american residential model.
From the street, the house is very discreet, as it was the client desire. However, it is generously opened to the landscape. Ducks in the photo are real and wander freely in the gardens. The owner says, kindly, that now he stays more at home because he can’t find elsewhere the same quality of life he has there.