Prevalent during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and made popular by American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Prairie Style is characterized by use of horizontal lines, broad eave overhangs, flat or low-hipped roofs and high-quality materials. The strong horizontal nature of the structure evokes the expanse of treeless prairie that once dominated the vistas of the Western United States and allows for integration into the landscape.
R+B’s modern take on the Prairie Style reconciles the current-day demand for high ceilings, expansive windows and modern construction techniques with the historic style’s emphasis on craftsmanship, horizontality and sensitivity to the landscape.
Additionally, the landscape design grounds the residence within the established context and aesthetic of the surrounding neighborhood. The chosen planting palette includes mostly native plant species appropriate to the region. In lieu of colorful ornamental plantings, simple massing of ornamental grasses and low deciduous shrubs convey a modern complement to the Prairie Style of architecture.
To emphasize the horizontal nature of the home’s design, the team chose a neutral stone palette for the wall surfaces and contrasted it with bands of deep bronze-colored metal. The use of sandblasted-smooth stone and rough cleft-face stone allows for variation of scale and texture, while its coursing emphasizes horizontal lines. The home’s singular fenestration, including floor-to-ceiling windows and doors punctuating the horizontal bands of the façade, was inspired by Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) wavetables. The end result is an enhancement of the home’s dramatic scale and indoor/outdoor living.