Frank Lloyd Wright was originally commissioned by A. K. Chahroudi in 1949 to build a home on the private island, but Wright's original plans for the main structure were never built after the budget fell through. Ultimately, Wright ended up only constructing a modest 1,200-square-foot guest cottage on the island.
It wasn't until 1996 (after Wright's passing in 1959), when Joseph Massaro purchased Petra Island, that Wright's designs would come to be realized. Massaro hired Thomas Heinz, an architect and Wright scholar, to finally construct the main house from Wright's original plans on the exact location he had chosen for the structure back in 1949. The 5,000-square-foot home, now known as the Massaro House, was constructed with the help of software to model portions of the original design that were not clear from Wright's renderings. Heinz also took some liberties with the design by updating the home with some modern amenities—all reasons which led to the home's rejection from the Wright Foundation.
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation President & CEO Stuart Graff explains why homes are recognized, or not, as works of Frank Lloyd Wright:
"Frank Lloyd Wright rarely built exactly what was drawn on paper. Indeed, the essence of his work was to respond to conditions, materials, and opportunities that came about as a result of the specific site for which any design was uniquely drawn. There was an evolution of the design during construction. Wright was obviously not involved in the contraction of designs built after his death, and unable to complete the design process. For that reason, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation believes unbuilt works should remain unbuilt, and that buildings constructed based on Wright’s drawings should only be referred to as 'based on' or 'inspired by' Frank Lloyd Wright designs."
That being said, signature Wright details seem to still prevail throughout the abode. Beyond the site's integration into nature, inspiration from the iconic architect's ethos is evident in the inclusion of a large cantilevered deck, the African mahogany woodwork based on Wright’s specifications, six wood-burning fireplaces, the exterior use of desert masonry, and an extensive use of glazing that offers stunning views from every vista.
This property is now on the market for $14,920,00 through Chilton & Chadwick.
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