December 29, 2008

Frank Lloyd Wright's Maya house

The best houses of all time in L.A.

We asked an expert panel for its top 10 picks of the best Southern California homes.3. Ennis House Frank Lloyd Wright Los Feliz, 1924

The largest and loudest of Wright's four concrete-block houses in L.A., the Ennis House suggests what the greatest of Modernists would have done with a commission from the Maya Empire 700 years earlier. A heavy, elongated mass constructed of 16-by-16-inch concrete blocks (most textured with an ornate pattern) and sited majestically on a hilltop overlooking Griffith Park, the building appears to be more than a house--an elegant fortification, perhaps, or a temple.


dmarks said...

Good catch.

But first on Wright's Mayan list is the Hollyhock House. Just google hollyhock house mayan to see the discussion.

Rob said...

The Hollyhock House is also on the list of LA's best houses. I think I visited it many years ago. But the writeup didn't mention the Maya influence, and I don't recall noticing it when I was there.

But you're right...I should've labeled this posting "Frank Lloyd Wright's Maya houses." Here's some info on the Hollyhock House:

Balanced on one of those bumps, right south of Hollywood Blvd., sits a Frank Lloyd Wright house, the Hollyhock House. It looks Mayan and long and monumental from the exterior like something Lara Croft would discover in a Guatemalan jungle.

The Hollyhock motif, found throughout the house came from Barnsdall's favorite plant. Many of the forms can be traced to Mayan temples, and the appearance of stone construction adds to this pattern.

Among the many unique design features of the house, the exterior walls are tilted back at 85 degrees (which helps give it a 'Maya' appearance sometimes referred to as the Maya Revival Style), leaded art glass in the windows, and the grand fireplace has a large abstract bas-relief and a moat.