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Marden House

McLean, Virginia


The Marden House, completed in May of 1959 in the month after his death, is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s last great houses.  The compact program (3000 sf) and simplicity of massing and detailing recalls other late Usonian houses, but few of Wright’s buildings in this late period are sited in such a dramatic setting.  Designed for a professional photographer and explorer, the house forms a narrow ledge on the side of a steep wooded ravine above the rapids of the Potomac River.  To be in the house and see the river framed by the low projecting roof soffit beyond the glazed arcade is to be transported to a wild and monumental landscape seemingly far removed from the nearby capital city.

RWA was honored to be part of the restoration team as a consulting architect, in close collaboration with Adams General Construction, to realize the owner’s brief to faithfully restore the badly deteriorated structure to its original condition.  RWA was also responsible for interior design, installation of all furniture, including re-upholstery of all built-ins, carpets, window treatments, fixtures and fittings.

Photography by Robert Lautman and Nikolas Koenig
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