Dr. Cooke Commissioned Famed Architect Frank Lloyd Wright to Build the Cooke House

Wright was involved in every detail of the structure, including the furniture, and the fabrics the furniture would be covered in. Even the china pattern was designed by Wright, which exists to this day...

About Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd WrightFrank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) is acknowledged as one of the greatest American architects of the twentieth century.

His career spanned seven decades, producing over 1,000 designs, over half of which were actually constructed. Part of Mr. Wright's genius lay in his desire to integrate the structure with the land on which the structure was to be built, using materials that referenced the actual site.

Listed among the illustrious collection of structures Wright is responsible for, are the Guggenheim Museum in New York, NY, and Fallingwater, in rural western Pennsylvania.

About the Cooke House

Andrew and Maude Cooke contacted Mr. Wright in 1951, stating their desire to live in a Wright designed home. The couple had purchased an acre of lake front property in Virginia Beach, Va., three blocks from the Oceanfront. The house was to sit on a bluff overlooking the lake, surrounded by indigenous pine, magnolias, and camellias.

Original Frank Lloyd Wright Drawing of the Cooke House

Cooke House Arial Model

Mr. Wright envisioned a structure in the shape of a cycle, with the arc of the cycle facing the lake and the arm of the cycle parallel to the property boundary. The term used for this phase of Wright's design sensibility is the Hemicycle Period. The arc of the cycle houses the Living area, Dining area, and Kitchen, while the handle of the cycle houses the bedrooms and bathrooms.

The plans for the residence were completed in 1953, and construction on the home was begun in 1959, two weeks before Wright's death.

Cooke House Front Facade

The radiant heating elements were encased in the Cherokee Red concrete floor, and therefore not visible to the eye. The roof is sheathed in over 4,000 square feet of copper, and the golden colored brick was custom made for the structure. Wright was involved in every detail of the structure, including the furniture, and the fabrics the furniture would be covered in. Even the china pattern was designed by Wright, which exists to this day.

Cooke House EntranceCooke House Living RoomCook House Entrance View from Maids Quarter

Mr. Wright designed only three residences in Virginia, with two of the residences located in Northern Virginia, and The Cooke House in Virginia Beach. In the words of Maude Cooke "from the very first day of living there, the house was a celebrity".