Usonian Design for the Millennial New Home Builders?

On my way to work the other morning I listened to an interesting design podcast that was explaining the Usonia1 home that was built by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Jacobs family in Madison, Wisconsin in 1937. My interest in Wright’s architectural design along with how close to us this first Usonian home is was enough to grab my attention for this podcast. After learning more about the Usonian Design I was encouraged to think about it as a potential interest for the Millennial home buyer or builder.

What is a Usonian Designed Home?

The Usonian house — the brainchild of American architectFrank Lloyd Wright(1867-1959) — is the embodiment of an idea for a simple, stylish small house of moderate cost designed especially for the American middle class. It is not so much a style as a type of residential architecture. “Style is important,” wrote Wright. “A style is not.”

Jackie Craven | Thought Co.

The basics

Wright’s design ideas for the Usonian house and eventually a Usonian Community were that the home will fit and work with the land that surrounds it, it will be designed to meet the homeowners wants and needs but without the large overwhelming space and numerous dividing rooms. This would create a better flow of movement and natural light throughout the home while also allowing the homeowners to interact more with the landscape and views of their surrounding area. The other key focus was on the cost for the homes and to give the homeowners the ability to take on more of the construction process themselves to save on costs. These houses were to be created on a single slab without a basement with the walls made from concrete blocks that could be assembled with steel rods and grout. 

More info on the design description here

Could this work?

The idea of building your own custom designed home with unique characteristics and possibly doing some of the labor to save on costs is what caught my attention. We have been doing some some research on what the Millennial home buying market is looking for. That being said, some of the key points that I have noticed is that the Millennial is willing to put in a bit of their own time and energy into many facets of their home life. They are more inclined to take on the DIY route when it comes to remodeling and landscaping, etc. They are also more interested in homes that are interacting more with the outdoor spaces and the surrounding environment. All of these wants tie in perfectly with the Usonian Designed home.

It may be difficult to revive this Frank Lloyd Wright concept to the vision he had but I think the concept could appeal to some home builders in the market today. If you’d like to read up a little more on the Usonian Designed Homes please take a look at Jackie Craven’s article here on ThoughtCo

To listen and read more about the Usonian Design please visit the 99% Invisible web page and listen to their podcast.