Year Built: 1973
Size: 2490 s.f.
the Stark House in Orlando, Florida, offers a modern, organic design inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. The home's original owner, local architect Duane Stark, designed the property with his colleague, Nils Schweizer, a former Taliesin fellow under Frank Lloyd Wright. Surrounded by lush greenery, the concrete residence features a large central volume framed by horizontal planes, including an elevated walkway leading to the poolside gazebo.
The following appeared in "Building Ideas" magazine in Fall 1975:
"Organic is a word often used to describe modern design. Instead of echoing previous building styles, many modern homes derive their inspiration from the irregular forms of nature. This first of our forward looking houses dramatically demonstrates what can happen when a skillful architect lets the site help shape his design.
It's rear exterior captures the soaring spirit of surrounding trees, and seems to float over the gently undulating terrain. Concrete block walls--surfaced with stucco which was left unpainted--look as if they might have been chiseled from massive boulders.
You'll look in vain for any predetermined pattern to the openings for doors and windows. Instead, big sheets of glass are located where they do the most good inside--flooding rooms with light and treating them to exciting views. Equally exciting are the decks which reach out from each of the home's levels, including a bridge to the swimming pool and a cantilevered crow's nest.
To reach the crow's nest, you cross another bridge. This one extends over the living room and exits through the glass wall. Beside it, a big block of a fireplace stands free, surrounded by glass and topped with a tall, cylindrical chimney obviously patterned after the pines outside. A raised concrete hearth, also cantilevered, doubles as a window seat and display shelf.
The front exterior is quite restrained. Wings for the children's bedrooms and carport balance the two-story-high central section; they also shelter a broad area for play and parking. Lack of trim and exterior detailing exemplifies the modern architectural approach.
At one end of the center entry hall, a graceful spiral stairway leads to the upper-level parents' retreat. With its own bath, dressing room, fireplace, and balcony sitting area--plus the crow's nest deck--the master suite enjoys all the privacy and luxury of a penthouse.
Check the plan and you'll see that it provides privacy for the children too. Their bedrooms are deftly isolated from the kitchen and other activity areas.
A wide pass-through serving bar opens the dining room to the living room. Bold colorful graphics emphasize that modern design needn't be chilly."