Seattle-based manufacturer Lindal Cedar Homes has entered into a remarkable partnership with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to create a series of purchasable house designs inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian principles. This collaboration has resulted in The Lindal Imagine Series, which offers nine unique house designs that reinterpret Wright’s original vision for affordable and harmonious living spaces deeply integrated with their natural surroundings.

Introduction to Usonian Architecture

The term “Usonia” was coined by Wright to denote his concept for a new American architecture that broke free from European traditions and responded to the unique landscape and culture of the United States. Developed in the 1930s, Usonian principles emphasize simplicity, affordability, energy efficiency, and a close relationship between the house and its natural environment. Wright designed over 100 Usonian homes that reflected these ideals, creating a distinctive architectural language that remains influential today.

The Lindal Imagine Series

The Lindal Imagine Series comprises nine house designs that are directly informed by Wright’s Usonian philosophy. Six of these designs are adaptations of existing Usonian homes, while three are “Usonia-inspired” creations. The series is the result of a collaboration initiated in 2011 between Lindal Cedar Homes founder Sir Walter Lindal and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Designers Aris Georges and Trina Lindal, both alumni of the school, led the design process, ensuring that each home captures the essence of Wright’s vision while incorporating modern amenities and building practices.

The Madison

One of the standout designs in The Lindal Imagine Series is The Madison, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom house that draws directly from Wright’s Jacobs 1 house in Wisconsin. At 1,600 square feet (148 square meters), The Madison maintains the iconic W-shaped plan of its inspiration but integrates modern features to meet contemporary living standards. It includes a sheltered entryway next to a covered carport and extensive use of windows and glass doors to connect the interior spaces with the surrounding landscape. This design embodies the Usonian ideals of functionality, affordability, and a strong connection to nature.

Crystal Springs

Another notable design in the series is Crystal Springs, which is based on Wright’s Bachman-Wilson house from 1954. Crystal Springs features a two-story plan with a double-height living room lined with floor-to-ceiling windows, enhancing the visual and physical connection to the outdoors. In modernizing the design, Lindal Cedar Homes relocated the primary suite to the first floor and updated the second-story balcony with a metal railing for a more open feel compared to the solid wood wall of the original design. This house exemplifies how Wright’s principles can be adapted to contemporary tastes while preserving the core Usonian philosophy.

Other Designs

The Lindal Imagine Series also includes variations of Wright’s Penfield house, Goetsch-Winckler house, and Seth Peterson Cottage. Each design maintains key Usonian elements such as open floor plans, natural materials, and a seamless integration with the surrounding environment. These homes offer prospective buyers a chance to own a piece of architectural history that has been thoughtfully updated for modern living.

Features of Usonian Homes

Usonian homes are characterized by their innovative use of natural materials, open floor plans, and designs that promote energy efficiency and affordability. Wright’s vision for Usonia was to create homes that were in harmony with their environments, using materials like wood, stone, and brick to tie the houses to their natural settings. Large glass curtain walls were often used to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing for a more immersive living experience that connected residents with the landscape.

Integration with Nature

A core principle of Usonian architecture is the integration of the house with its natural surroundings. Wright believed that homes should relate directly to the earth and be free from unnecessary embellishments such as foundations, front porches, or protruding chimneys. This approach is evident in The Lindal Imagine Series, where each design emphasizes a strong connection to the environment through extensive use of glass and natural materials.

Use of Natural Materials

Natural materials play a significant role in Usonian design, reflecting Wright’s commitment to creating homes that are both beautiful and sustainable. In The Lindal Imagine Series, this is achieved through the use of locally sourced wood, stone, and other materials that enhance the aesthetic and functional qualities of the homes. These materials not only provide a sense of warmth and authenticity but also contribute to the energy efficiency of the houses by leveraging their natural insulating properties.

Open Floor Plans

The open floor plan is another hallmark of Usonian homes, promoting flexibility and a sense of spaciousness within a compact footprint. This design feature allows for a more fluid arrangement of living spaces, facilitating a better flow of natural light and air throughout the home. In The Lindal Imagine Series, open floor plans are employed to create versatile living areas that can adapt to the needs of modern families while maintaining the principles of simplicity and efficiency that Wright championed.

Purchasable House Packages

Lindal Cedar Homes offers complete house packages that include the design plans, design services, and the unconstructed weather-tight shell of the house. These packages are delivered to buyers, who then work with local construction teams to complete the build. This approach allows for greater flexibility and customization while ensuring that each home adheres to the high standards set by Lindal Cedar Homes and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

The house packages are priced between $300,000 and $700,000, representing approximately one-third of the total cost of the finished home. This pricing structure aligns with Wright’s original vision for Usonian homes as affordable and accessible options for a wide range of homeowners.

Modernizing Wright’s Vision

The Lindal Imagine Series is not a direct reproduction of Wright’s original designs but rather a contemporary interpretation that respects and builds upon his principles. This approach allows for the incorporation of modern amenities and construction techniques while preserving the fundamental concepts of space, site relationship, and material organization that define Usonian architecture. By adapting Wright’s ideas to the needs and preferences of today’s homeowners, Lindal Cedar Homes ensures that these iconic designs remain relevant and inspiring for future generations.


The collaboration between Lindal Cedar Homes and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has resulted in a series of house designs that honor the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright while embracing modern advancements in architecture and construction. The Lindal Imagine Series offers a unique opportunity for homeowners to experience the timeless elegance and practical functionality of Usonian principles in a contemporary context. These homes stand as a testament to the enduring appeal of Wright’s vision for affordable, sustainable, and harmonious living spaces that connect deeply with their natural surroundings.

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