Frank Lloyd Wright’s only oceanfront home, where architecture and surf join the ‘natural melody’, has sold for $22 million
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The architect designed the California house to resemble a ship’s bow cutting through the water.
Of all the Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the world, only one is located on the ocean: Mrs. Clinton Walker’s. The exceptional home is located in Carmel Point, near the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, and has just been sold for an asking price of $22 million, according to the British Daily Mail. Wall Street Journal.
The famous architect designed the house to resemble the bow of a ship cutting through the water, a nod to his signature practice of integrating structures into their natural surroundings. This stunning feature is made possible by the hexagonal floor plan of the triangular living room, allowing a stunning view of the waves crashing against the nearby rocks.
The 1,400-square-foot space owes its illustrious provenance to the home’s owner, Della Walker, who wrote a short letter to Wright in 1945 asking him to take on the project. “I am a woman who lives alone,” she said. “I wish for protection from the wind and privacy from the road, and for a house as firm as rocks yet transparent, as charming as the waves, and as delicate as the seashore. You are the only man who can do this, will you help me?”
Walker—an artist and the widow of Minneapolis lumber executive Clinton Walker—saw photos of Wright’s Falling Water House and was fascinated by its simple, one-story Usonian style that made the nearby stream its focal point. She felt Wright could do the same with her uniquely located coastal property.
Appreciating the “concise and direct” message, Wright agreed to take on the project and eventually designed the single-story, copper-roofed house overlooking Carmel Bay and the Pacific Ocean. There are three bedrooms—all facing the sea—at the back of the house, which Wright lowered by four feet to better accommodate the environment.
The combined living and dining area is centered around a floor-to-ceiling fireplace with built-in furniture. The window frames were painted in Wright’s signature Cherokee Red with step-back glass windows. “The overall effect is serene,” Wright said in 1954, “and the long white surf lines of the sea seem to join the lines of the house to form a natural melody.”
Wright was unwavering about his designs when he set out to build the house in 1948, so when it was completed in 1952, it was exactly as he had envisioned it. He wrote to Walker after a visit to the house: “I hope that this little aristocrat among the bourgeoisie of Carmel, so interesting in itself, will not be merely a domestic experience that gives you the happiness you, his predecessor, deserve, but a spiritual elevation.”
According to what was reported by the local newspaper Caramel pine cone, Mrs. Clinton Walker’s house It was sold to Monaco businessman Patrice Pasteur, one of the city’s major landowners, who bought it from Della Walker’s descendants.
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