Hollyhock

The architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright has been a subject of great personal interest for more than a decade. In the last few years I have been fortunate to visit several of his California structures. Today, however, was a special treat because I finally was able to see the Hollyhock house in Los Angeles!

The house recently underwent an extensive restoration and the result is quite stunning. Unfortunately, they don’t allow visitors to takes picture of the interior–so you’ll have to venture there yourself to see just how beautiful it is. You would be better off doing so anyway because a photograph can’t quite capture the experience of being within and moving through a Wright-designed space. Everything detail is worth seeing!

Upon crossing the threshold, I was immediately struck by the low ceiling over the foyer, loggia, and connecting corridors. (Pun intended.) I’m fortunate not to be any taller than I am (6’1″) because the ceiling was, quite easily, only three or four inches above my head! The entryways and foyers of Wright homes frequently feature low ceilings. This as done to increase the visual impact upon entering the large central spaces of the house, which typically feature high ceilings. Normally, I don’t like low ceilings because they seem to make a space feeling uncomfortable more often than not but in Hollyhock they felt well-attuned to the other spaces and perfectly proportioned.

Despite its rather formidable appearance and intricate design, the house feels surprisingly cozy.

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One view of the house.

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One of several decorate urns featuring the hollyhock motif.

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This highly decorated niche once housed a statue of the bodhisattva Tara. She has since moved into the interior of the house.

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This abstract hollyhock motif can be seen all throughout the house, inside and out.

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A view of one side of the house.

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The reflecting pool by the “bridge.”

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