news

Lawrence Tech students to recreate furniture for Frank Lloyd Wright house

Release Date: June 22, 2010

Southfield, Mich. – Lawrence Technological University has received a $7,500 grant for students to recreate furniture for the University’s Affleck House in Bloomfield Hills, which was designed by America’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

The money comes from the 12th annual David Evans Historic Preservation Award, which is administered through the Michigan Architectural Foundation.

“The jury members recognized Affleck House’s architectural significance, and they were impressed with the plan to use students to research and build missing furniture according to Wright’s original designs,” said Ralph Graham, chair of the panel that selected the Lawrence Tech project.

The reproduction of appropriate furniture will complement the interior renovation project that has been under way for the past three years. Douglas Metiva, who graduated from Lawrence Tech in May with degrees in architecture and construction management, is living at the historic house this summer while working on the interior renovations.

The 2,350-square-foot Affleck House is one of Wright’s smallest commissions in terms of size and was considered a home for a family of modest means. A construction model was displayed in the Museum of Modern Art prior to its completion in 1941.

In 1978, Affleck House was donated to Lawrence Tech by the children of the original owners, Gregor and Elizabeth Affleck. Lawrence Tech holds events at the house, which also serves as a valuable teaching tool for students in the College of Architecture and Design.

Wright enjoyed designing houses to fit unique settings and challenged the original owners to “find a site on which no one else can build.” Affleck House is considered a daring solution to the problems presented by the site. Part of the structure is built over a streambed, and a deck is cantilevered over a ravine. A floor well over a pool of water provides natural cooling in the summer.

The house has polished concrete floors and interior and exterior walls clad in ship-lapped cypress and red brick.

Affleck House is on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and is one of the 50 most significant structures in the state, according to the Michigan Society of Architects. 

For more information on Affleck House, see ltu.edu/specialevents/about_affleck_house.asp.

For information about the preservation award program, contact Lynne Merrill Francis of American Institute of Architects (AIA) Michigan at (313) 965-4100 or lynne@aiami.com.

Lawrence Technological University, ltu.edu, offers more than 100 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus is in Southfield, and programs are also offered in Detroit, Lansing, Petoskey and Traverse City. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.