AIA Arkansas Blog


Architecture and Design Network: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House: A New Perspective

A lecture by Jeff Shannon, Professor of Architecture, the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture

Date: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Place: Arkansas Arts Center lecture hall
Time: 6:00 p.m., preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m.

Robie house, situated on the edge of the University of Chicago campus, was designed for 28-year-old Frederick Robie and his young family by Frank Lloyd Wright. Completed in 1910, the house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has generally been acknowledged as the “ultimate expression of the Prairie house”, a form pioneered by the Wisconsin-born architect. In addition to designing the structure itself, Wright designed the home’s furnishings and elements of Mrs. Robie’s wardrobe. According to Shannon, most interpretations of the Robie home underestimate the influence of site and context on the design of the house, located on a 60×180 foot lot on the corner of Woodlawn Avenue and South 58th Street, in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood.  Wright’s ability to deal with the challenges he faced “elicited one of the most creative and ingenious responses” of his career.

As Dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture (FJSA), from 2000 to 2013, Jeff Shannon, an award-winning alumnus of  Arkansas and Rice Universities,  developed a variety of new programs, increased the school’s  diversity and raised its national profile. Under his aegis, the school was named for Fay Jones, one of its early graduates and an American Institute of Architects (AIA) gold medalist, who, early in his career, studied with Wright at Taliesin. During Shannon’s tenure, funding was raised to renovate Vol Walker Hall, the school’s home,  and build the widely acclaimed Steven L. Anderson Design Center. Responsible for developing the collaboration of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and the University of Arkansas Press, Shannon, as  executive editor of the publishing venture, is responsible for books dealing with architecture, including Architects of Little Rock, 1833-1950,  by Charles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg.

All ADN lectures are free and open to the public. ADN’s supporters include the Arkansas Arts Center, the Central Arkansas Chapter of the AIA, the Fay Jones School of Architecture and friends in the community. A non-profit,  ADN is a 501-3 organization. For additional information contact ardenetwork@icloud.com.