Dramatically sited on a sloping two-acre lot along Cabin John Creek, the Robert Llewellyn Wright House is one of a comparatively small number of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “hemicycle” houses. A hemicycle refers to a segment of a circle used in this type of design. The primary form of the Wright house, designed for the architect’s youngest son, is composed of two intersecting hemicycles resulting in a plan having the basic shape of an eye or a football. A large, rounded tower in concrete block pushes out from the arc of the approach elevation and rises above the line of the broad fascia made up of overlapping boards of Philippine mahogany. On the rear of the house a second-story balcony composed of two intersecting hemicycles and the single arc of the terrace retaining wall and balustrade similarly extend from the primary hemicycle form. Inside the house a broad, open plan living-dining area extends across the back with the kitchen workspace and fireplace occupying the interior of the tower. The form and arrangement of public spaces is very much in keeping with the Usonian concept that guided much of Wright’s domestic design for middle-class households beginning in the 1930s. There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the upper level. Wright provided the initial design for the house in 1953, but construction of a slightly modified version would not begin until 1957 because of difficulties in obtaining a loan, and finding a lot and a willing builder. Lloyd Wright, another son of the architect, was responsible for the landscape design.
Kurtze, Peter E., “Wright, Robert Llewellyn, House,” Montgomery County, Maryland. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 1985. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC.
Storer, William Allin. The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1974.