Frank Lloyd Wright's

FROEBEL'S KINDERGARTEN


Wallace J. Rogers, Ph.D.

COOPER HOUSE (1887-1890)

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Frank Lloyd Wright's Froebel's Kindergarten

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Cooper House

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The drawing that Frank Lloyd Wright prepared for Adler and Sullivan for employment demonstrated his astute ability to design beautiful buildings. Such evidence lies within the geometric form presented through the sophisticated integration of squares, circles, pentagons, and octagons in a study plan and elevation drawing for what he later called a Dream house (1887). Eventually, the study-plan drawing and elevation rendering were turned into a lovely residence for the Henry N. Cooper House (1890), although the home was never built.

Cooper House PlanNevertheless, these drawings indicate distinctive Froebel-like tendencies in design and layout through the integration of circle, square, pentagon and octagon-shaped rooms, fireplaces and windows. The drawings show the various rooms of the house as a highly integrated system of geometrical shapes (enclosed spaces) tied together through angles shared by their individual parts.

The drawings in elevation and floor plan reveal characteristic design and layout elements with a circular dining room and semi-circular fireplaces enclosed within an octagon-shaped building, indicative of Froebel's Kindergarten Gifts and Occupations. A large irregular octagon-shaped central hall occupies the middle section of the house with a semi-circular entrance in the front and a half-octagon-shaped fireplace in the rear.

An attached pentagon-shaped music room and library juke out from the central hallway at a 135-degree angle with the shortest side of the pentagon linked to the dining room by a square-shaped atrium of the same dimension. Through a square-shaped hallway of the same size, the dining room attaches to a kitchen and service wing with servant quarters above and a storeroom below.

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