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Brandes House
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Darmok and Jalad
N 47° 35.418 W 122° 03.235
10T E 571130 N 5271199
Quick Description: Nestled in a forest meadow on a 20-acre parcel, this 1,950 sq. ft. Usonian was designed for a builder and his family, one of three FLW houses in the State of Washington...
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 11/6/2007 5:38:50 AM
Waymark Code: WM2HJA
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Rayman
Views: 186

Long Description:
Ray Brandes wrote to Wright in 1951 expressing his desire for a low-cost house compatible with his family's "simple, unaffected, serventless" lifestyle. Brandes, a builder and contractor by profession, planned to do much of the carpentry himself.

During construction problems arose and Brandes had to communicate with Wright via telegram as there was no phone at Taliesin West at the time. Brandes even offered for Wright to call him collect, but Wright telegrammed back that calling would be too difficult as the nearest phone was 15 miles away. Ultimately, some of the construction issues were able to be resolved by a former Apprentice who had relocated to the Seattle area.

The low, single-story house was constructed of a pink-hued masonry block, battered slightly to emphasize the horizontal, redwood and glass on a 4-foot, square module. To maximize the available daylight in the often dreary Northwest climate, Wright included long bands of east- and west-facing windows and clerestories with patterned redwood cutouts in the main living area. This main living space consists of a combined living and dining area organized into several intimate zones. Wright designed the built-in as well as the free-standing furniture, which was handcrafted by Brandes of redwood lumber and plywood. The kitchen is tucked in the masonry core and equipped with stainless steel countertops and built-in cabinets. The in-line bedroom wing consists of three, small bedrooms, each with a glass door opening to a stone terrace. On the opposite end of the house is a large carport and workshop with its own fireplace.

Ray Brandes also constructed/assembled the Usonian Automatic Tracy House (visit link) in installments for the Tracy Family as they spent five-days a week for nearly a year hand-casting the blocks for their house.

The Brandes House is not usually visible or accessible to the public, but is currently on the Market, a wonderful opportunity for someone with the where-with-all to become a Wright-house steward (visit link) .


Legler, D., 1999, Frank Lloyd Wright: The Western Work, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, pp. 64-69, 90
Year Completed: 1952 - designed, 1953 - built

Commissioned By: Ray Z. Brandes

Nearest City or Town: Issaquah, WA

Public/Private: Private

Tours Available?: no

Website: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
There are no specific visit requirements, however telling about your visit is strongly encouraged. Additional photos of the building or house to add to the gallery are also nice, but not required. Pictures with a GPS or you in them is highly discouraged.
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