Create Unique and Modern Outdoor Spaces with Reproductions of Frank Lloyd Wright's Precast Textile Concrete Blocks. Buy the Authorized Replicas of Millard House Block, Storer House, and Ennis House Concrete Garden and Architectural Plaques at the Best Value.
Of all the artistic and architectural endeavors that Frank Lloyd Wright engaged, the development of his modular houses using textile precast concrete blocks is one of the most unique and enduring. Wright set out to develop an inexpensive method of building residential homes that could be simply replicated by most every day Americans. Wright experimented with this new form of modular housing and sought to combine the artistic and decorative architectural elements of the buildings with the common basic functions that are required in everyday residential homes. Keeping with his value for nature Wright employed this experimental enterprise as a means to fashion a new version of his organic architecture. Natural elements of nature such as light and landscape were an integral part of his designs and how the building interacted with these elements was crucial. These structures sought to be inclusive of the landscape and of other natural structures. Wright built four homes using concrete cast textile blocks, the Millard House, the Storer House, the Freeman House and the Ennis House.
The Millard House was the first textile block home that Wright in 1923 and the Storer House and Freeman House were started shortly after that year. The Ennis House was built in 1924. The textile blocks in the Millard House were secured together with conventional mortar. Metal bars were used in the other three homes. Frank Lloyd Wright was ahead of his time and although his designs are world famous the construction of the textile block homes had an inherent flaw. The Millard House leaked and had flooding problems related to the type mortar and how it was used to secure the blocks. Metal rods were used in the other homes and subsequently rusted and eroded the concrete due to the water content that is contained in all concrete mixes. Today technology exists to address all of the construction issues Wright encountered with his textile block homes.
The Millard House was the first textile concrete block house built by Wright in 1923. Inspired by the recently discovered Mayan temples and his recent visit to Japan the Millard House several elements or his notable organic architecture. Using only one repeated block, now known as the Millard block, Wright produced hundreds of textile blocks on site using some materials from the land nearby the home. A wooden mold was used to cast the Millard blocks which consisted of a symmetrical cross in the center with four squares positioned at each corner around the cross. The cross and the squares were cut outs and the decorative design served as passage ways in the blocks which allowed light to shine. The blocks were positioned in several places for skylights.
The Storer House differed in that Wright used four different block designs in the construction of the home although one pattern is much more noted as the Storer House block. This block design is similar to the Millard in that there is a center cross but it is in relief instead of a hole. The center cross has four squares in relief at the center of the cross. The holes are positioned at each corner and resemble two overlapping rectangles. The outer corners of the Storer House block each have four overlapping squares but each consisting of only one corner of the square. There is a seemingly repeated pattern of the numbers 3 and 4 in this design perhaps from the influence of the Mayan architecture for which he admired.
The Ennis House was built with two versions of the square design. One had no perforations for light to pass through and were used for unique windows and skylights. The other block utilized the same pattern but was solid and were used along the interior and exterior walls. The Ennis House design was certainly one of Wright's Mayan Revival inspired homes but he may have had additional inspiration from Charles Ennis, the original owner. Charles Ennis member of the Masonic Order and this association's emblem has the letter "g" in the center. The "g" in the emblem is the symbol for God. The Ennis House contains what is suspected to be a styled g in the lower right corner which could conceivably represent the "right-hand path" which is a concept closely associated with the order.
The textile blocks offered by The Garden Fountain Store are made by Nichols Bros. Stoneworks, the only authorized manufacturer of the Frank Lloyd Wright Collection. Nichols Bros. uses the dry tap method to adhere to the look and feels that Frank Lloyd Wright sought with the rough texture in his concrete blocks. Call The Garden Fountain Store if you have any questions about these uniquely American architectural and garden products.