SAMARA, a Frank Lloyd Wright Home
1301 Woodland Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47906
tours by reservation only
Description: The John E. Christian House (1954), located in West Lafayette, Indiana, represents a pristine example of Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian architecture. SAMARA contains refinements of over forty innovations by this world famous architect, yet is unique in that it was specifically designed for Dr. Christian and his wife, Catherine, and their daughter, Linda.
SAMARA is designed on a grid, uses cantilevered surfaces and creates a new sense of space. This unique combination of design principles when taken together forms Mr. Wright's "grammar" for Usonian architecture.
The John E. Christian residence exemplifies the very best that Frank Lloyd Wright had to offer his clients. As professionals at nearby Purdue University they expressed a desire to entertain faculty, students and community-minded people in their new home.
Early on in his design of SAMARA, Frank Lloyd Wright assured John and Kay Christian that they would have a different kind of home. To their delight, their new home provided the perfect setting for teaching graduate students, entertaining guests and hosting dinner parties. The residence offers spacious areas for gathering inside the home in the large living room and separate dining room; and, outside in the carport, terrace, lanai and other gardens.
SAMARA has 15 distinct, but interrelated areas. These areas are for living and dining located adjacent to the terrace and lanai; work, laundry and utility spaces located in the center of the house behind the fireplace; master, guest and nursery bedrooms; master and guest bathrooms; a carport with an adjoining tool closet; and, a fully landscaped lot. In keeping with his Usonian grammar, Mr. Wright designed SAMARA on a four-foot square grid. The house totals 2,200 square feet in area and sits on one acre of sloping terrain. The living and dining rooms, and the master and guest bedrooms open onto the terrace and lanai, through floor to ceiling French glass doors, which are oriented in a southeasternly direction for maximum sun exposure.
In 2015, SAMARA was designated a National Historic Landmark, the highest designation conferred by the National Park Service on historic place of extraordinary national significance.