The Laurent House: Frank Lloyd Wright, Midcentury Design & Accessibility

It has been many months since I last blogged about Frank Lloyd Wright’s “little gem” right here in my neighborhood of Rockford: THE LAURENT HOUSE.

Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture
Inside The Laurent House: Frank Lloyd Wright, Midcentury Design & Accessibility

The Laurent House: Frank Lloyd Wright, Midcentury Design & Accessibility

The Laurent House, a midcentury masterpiece built for Ken and Phyllis Laurent is now open to the public!

It was with joy I joined the ribbon cutting celebration to officially open the architectural delight (the only property designed by Mr. Wright to be accessible for its owner,
a wounded WWII veteran).

Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture

Human Stories Behind the Project

So many design details I could wax on about after listening to members of the Laurent Foundation, yet I’m most thrilled to hear the stories, the human stories that surround the architect, the Laurent family, and this restoration project.

Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture
Yours truly in Mrs. Laurent’s vanity mirror.
Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture
Mrs. Laurent’s vanity area in the master bedroom

How magical that the unique needs (Ken had paraplegia) of an ordinary Rockford family met the genius of Mr. Wright in a home which has stood the test of time in terms of function and aesthetics!

Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture

The Laurent House is small yet lived beautifully large.

Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture
A bedroom in the Laurent House
Painted screens in bedroom. Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture
The painted screens throughout the home are exquisite

As you may have surmised, the furniture is all original and part of the overall design.

Mauve upholstery and built-in wrap around shelves. Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture

Organic Materials & Modern Design

You’ll find tidewater cypress cabinetry and radiant floor heating throughout the home.

Brick wall and mauve upholstery. Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture

Efficient and sensible furniture design.

Kitchen with green laminate counter and backsplash. Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture

A modest kitchen to be sure, with many subtle understated details which keep it timeless.

Built-in storage and brick wall. Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture
Red mailbox. Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture

Frank Lloyd Wright: Innovative Design Details

Origami-shaped tables, hassocks, recessed lighting, and a koi pond (flush with the back window wall) which helps to cool the house in summer are features which add to the quality and longevity of the home.

Sconces and Asian screen. Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture
Bedroom with twin beds and orange bed linens. Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture
Bedroom with modern custom chair with green upholstery. Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture

Accessibility With Beauty

So many accessible details inside, yet the home’s brilliant construction leaves no telltale signs the owner used a wheelchair: lower light switches, threshold-free doorways, pull-down cupboard doors…and this brings me to my favorite part of the Laurent House:

Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture

b e a u t y  f u n c t i o n s  i n  h a r m o n y within the setting and within the needs of its occupants.

Frank Lloyd Wright Laurent House designed for owner Kenneth Laurent on Spring Brook Road in Rockford/ Designed to be wheelchair-accessible. #flw #franklloydwrighthouse #midcenturymodernarchitecture

At the time of this post, photography is not allowed in the museum, so it is an honor to share these images and a part of the Laurent story to encourage you to make a trail to Rockford for this fabulous project and museum.

I will share more about this Rockford gem shortly, and if you are planning a trip to the Chicago area by all means, plan to rendezvous here too.

Peace to you right where you are.

michele

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8 Comments

  1. June 17, 2014 / 12:23 am

    to be inside is to experience being inside a piece of important art with amazing positive energy leftover from the occupants!

  2. June 17, 2014 / 2:03 am

    I think that is a great idea to put the board inside. I might try it by adding one to the outside and one to the inside and screwing them together. Your room turned out so pretty and this rolling basket just tops it off so well.
    studio-with-gothic-style

  3. June 17, 2014 / 4:01 am

    Beautiful photos Michele, thank you for sharing your experience and tour of this wonderful Wright home.
    Vera

  4. June 17, 2014 / 8:54 pm

    What a treasure! FLW was such a master, this home feels like the outdoors is coming right inside! Thanks for sharing it!
    xo
    Holly

  5. June 18, 2014 / 4:26 am

    Wonderful project and story M. Thanks for sharing:) xxL

  6. June 18, 2014 / 3:34 pm

    Michele, how wonderful to have such a treasure in your backyard and I feel so fortunate to be able to take a look around via your wonderful photos. Thanks so much for giving us a peek! XOXO

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