Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Goblin Playhouse – Frank Lloyd Wright, 1926

Two drawings at a Chicago exhibition of original Frank Lloyd Wright drawings [hat tip Prairie Mod]. The two depict the unbuilt Goblin Playhouse project -- one of a group of four playhouses in Oak Park, the Chicago suburb that was Wright’s home and workplace a decade-and-a-half before.

They’re especially interesting to me, since Maria Montessori recommended that her classrooms be laid out with an octagonal floor plan, as this one is . . .


Wright archivist Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer reckons "no project more evidently portrays Wright's love of delighting small children than the complete group of four.  Even the titles suggests the romance of the scheme, 'Kindersymphonies.' The names he selected for the playhouses further suggest the gaiety of the project: 'The Goblin,' or 'Scherzo,' 'Two-for-a-Penny,' 'The Iovanna,' after his daughter's name, and 'The Anne Baxter' after his granddaughter."

Despite the ‘Montessorian’ floor plan, the coloured globes and the reflecting pool of the perspective show more of the influence that Froebel had on Wright.

I love them.  They’re little jewels.


  1. Language sometimes plays tricks on the mind. You said "playhouse" and I immediately thought "theater." It took reading to near the bottom to realize you meant a house for children to play in.

    But wouldn't that make a stunning theater-in-the-round design?

  2. "...wouldn't that make a stunning theater-in-the-round design?"

    I'd need some time to get my head around that one Jeff. ;^)

    Certainly, Wright's theater-in-the-round in Dallas, the Kalita Humphreys Theater, was pretty stunning -- with its revolving stage and all.


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