The ultimate beach cottage, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Walker House in Carmel, California looks like a prow of a ship cutting through the breakers and heading out to sea.
Located on rocky Carmel Point in Carmel Bay, it is the only completed home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in an ocean environment. As this is posted, the home is pending approval for the National Historic Register.
The remarkable tract of land in Carmel, California, was a gift to Mrs. Clinton Walker by her sister, and she asked Frank Lloyd Wright for a design that affords protection, transparency, charm, and delicacy, as well as a home that endures. Designed in 1948 and completed in 1952, it has survived with few changes through the years and is still the vacation cottage for Mrs. Walker’s descendants.
The open living space has the sense of being on a ship’s bridge looking out to sea. Wright designed built-in furnishings to seamlessly meld the living and dining spaces. He introduced open floor plans at the beginning of the twentieth century, and he continued refining them, as with this home.
It has been over 30 years since I photographed my first Frank Lloyd Wright home. I was fortunate to be allowed to make these photos of the Walker Home this summer. Layers unfold when you make photos of Wright’s architecture—I see more and more the longer I stay there with my camera. I am certain that when I might return I would be astonished at what I missed during these photos, the second time I have made photos.
The home is a true treasure of American architecture. Bravo to the preservation efforts.
— Scot Zimmerman