A plan by Stephen Brooks Architects to build the first Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the UK has been blocked at the appeal stage by a planning inspector, reports the Architects' Journal. Based on a 1947 design by Wright for the O'Keefe family in California, the project was the brainchild of Dr Hugh Petter, a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast who negotiated for eight years with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation before gaining permission to build the unrealised design in Tyntesfield Springs near Bristol, thousands of miles from its intended location.
Dr Petter has already had his proposal rejected last year by North Somerset Council, who commented that as he never built outside of the USA and Japan, Wright "can’t be that influential." This prompted an immediate appeal to the planning inspector by Petter, followed by a video aiming to convince people about the design, which goes to great lengths to demonstrate Wright's importance (shown above). At the time, the project's architect Stephen Brooks hit out at the council planning board, asking "one wonders what outstanding buildings of the 21st or 20th century North Somerset has found acceptable? Does anybody know?"
However, planning inspector Edward Gerry has now backed the conclusions of the council, questioning the design's impact on the surrounding countryside. "At the time of its conception the design may have been considered to be highly innovative and exceptional," added Gerry. "Nonetheless, in my view, the design, including in terms of its horizontal form and its use of materials, would not be of exceptional quality or of an innovative nature when considered against modern construction techniques.
Story via the Architects' Journal