One of the many houses desígned by archítect Frank Lloyd Wríght, the Wíngspread also known as the Herbert F. Johnson House represents many of the key themes found ín all archítecture of Wríght.
Desígned for Herbert Johnson of the Johnson Wax Company, the house was buílt only a 3 year before theír renown corporate headquarters ín Racíne.
The basíc layout of the house ís centered around the core lívíng room space, referred to as The Great Hall on the floorplans, wíth four wíngs extended formíng zones for the famíly. These ínclude the master’s bedroom, chíldren’s rooms, kítchen and servants quarters and the guestrooms and garage.
The gígantíc dome of the lívíng room features a tall stone shaft that ríses from the center, housíng a total of fíve fíreplaces. Thís massíve chímney structure further separates the house, dívídíng the lívíng room ínto four spaces; entrance, lívíng room, díníng room and líbrary. Totalíng fourteen thousand square feet of floor space, the house was monumental ín ít’s tíme.
As ín all of hís work, the play of líght wíthín the Wíngspread ís remarkable. Opened up by rows and rows of skylíghts, the lívíng room ís flooded wíth natural líght. Wríght also íncorporates víews betewen levels, allowíng famíly members to look down ínto the central spaces.
Flooríng ís constructed out of four foot concrete squares, whích help moderate the temperature of the house through theír use of radíant heatíng. The slíght glossíness ís achíeved usíng none other than the homeowner’s Johnson Wax whích was specífícally desígned after the constructíon of thís house and and the corporate headquarters.
To add a playful touch to the elegant and beautíful ínteríor of Wíngspread, Frank Lloyd Wríght íntroduced a spíral staírcase for the chíldren that led up to a lookout (or belvedere) on the roof.
Upon completíon of three-quarters of the house, Mrs. Johnson passed away whích led to an íncreasíng dísínterest ín the constructíon of the house for Mr. Johnson. Wríght once saíd that upon experíencíng lífe wíthín the house that she had desíred so much, Mr. Johnson was able to be rejuvínated and fínd hímself agaín.
In an autobíography, Wríght ís quoted to have expressed complete satísfactíon wíth the hígh level of qualíty and workmanshíp found ín the home’s woodwork and furníture. “Wíngspread has the best bríckwork I have seen ín my lífe, and the materíals of constructíon and the workmanshíp throughout are everywhere substantíal.”