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Virtual Tour: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unbuilt Hollywood Home from 1938

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The Ralph Jester home is a stunning example of bringing the outdoors in

Designed for Hollywood costume designer Ralph Jester in 1938, this proposed home, Frank Lloyd Wright’s first circular residential design, offered an elegant interpretation of the "bring the outside in" concept. Meant for a plot of land on the Flying Triangle Ranch outside Santa Monica, California, it would have been a glamorous addition to his California creations. The layout consisted of a series of self-contained, cylindrical rooms clad in plywood, a set of drums set beneath a square slab roof. The interior was, in effect, a large indoor patio, requiring one to walk outside to travel between rooms, or access the large swimming pool, which was designed to overflow into a ravine below and provide a 270-degree view of the Pacific Ocean, a man-made waterfall reflecting out towards the sea. Wright called it a "true abstraction."

Jester, a friend of Wright’s sister Maginel, never built the home, in part due to the extensive cost; he’d later hire the architect’s son, Lloyd Wright, to built a home for his family in 1949. But the basic blueprint for the Jester Home was redesigned, repackaged, and repitched by Wright to other clients over the years, such as Huntington Hartford, who in the late ‘40s, considered an updated version of the residence, complete with a spherical addition, for a plot in Hollywood. It took a true Wright devotee to realize this unique layout, apprentice, Taliesin fellow, and Wright foundation archivist Bruce Pfeiffer, who built a home for his father Arthur in 1971-1972 based on the decades-old proposal. Fittingly, the home sits on land near Taliesin West owned by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

This virtual tour was created by Archilogic, a firm that specializes in creating 3D models for architecture and real estate, and allows users to upload floorplans and create their own virtual tours.