Hanna Residence
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Architect Frank Lloyd Wright
Location Palo Alto, California   map
Date 1936   timeline
Building Type house
 Construction System brick and
Climate mild
Notes S. 235. "Honeycomb House". Hexagonal layout grid.


Photo, exterior

Photo, exterior

Photo, exterior


Plan Drawing

Detail Drawing

Discussion Hanna Residence Commentary

"Wright called this a wooden house. Though it uses common wire-cut San Jose brick inside and out, many of the walls are wood. The ease with which the nonmasonry walls could be assembled or disassembled allowed for considerable alteration of interior space. This accommodated individual bedrooms for children when the house was first built under masterbuilder Harold Turner's supervision. These were later converted to larger living spaces when the children left. All changes were in accordance with Wright's original ideas....The Hanna house, maintained by Stanford University, is called Honeycomb House because the Usonian structure's plan is fashioned on a hexagonal unit system, a module that replaced the octagon as Wright's favorite from this time on. The basic module unit is one foot one inch. Each redwood board and recessed batten observes this spacing. Hexagons marked in the slab floor have sides two units in length. One-by-eight wall studs are on two-unit centers. Honeycomb House completes the hillside to which it clings, its floor and courtyard levels adjusting to the contours of the hill....It was Wright's first work in the San Francisco region."

— William Allin Storrer. The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog. project 235.

The Creator's Words

"The dominant feeling was of wonderful, secluded shelter, with the kind of aura I knew in the big old houses of my childhood...In view of the fact that no house of my childhood was ever so casually joined to the outdoors, so profusely fenestrated and skylighted, or so varied in levels and ceiling heights, I was surprised that I was so emotionally familiar with the place. To feel so secure without the dark and gloom of restricting walls, yet I felt free. Not the kind of airiness associated with open, glass walls, which makes me feel as though I might fall out the windows, but a feeling of having space to move around in and somewhere to go.

The hexagon has been conservatively treated, however. It is allowed to appear in plan only and in the furniture which literally rises from ...the floor slab upon which the whole rests. To me, here is a lead into a new, fascinating realm of form—although it is somewhat repressed on the side of dignity and repose in this first expression of the idea."

— Frank Lloyd Wright. from John Sergeant. Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian Houses: The Case for Organic Architecture. p32-33.


737 Frenchman's Road
Stanford, California 94305

Sources on Hanna Residence

Edward Ford. The Details of Modern Architecture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1990. ISBN 0-262-06121-X. photos and detail drawings, p334 to 338.   Highly recommended for serious observers, and available at Amazon.com

William S. Saunders. Modern Architecture—Photographs by Ezra Stoller. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3816-2. exterior photo, p75. interior photo, p75. — A wonderful & inspiring book of beautiful photographs by the master of architectural photography. Available at Amazon.com

John Sergeant. Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian Houses: The Case for Organic Architecture. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1976. ISBN 0-8230-7178-2. LC 76-7281. NA737.W7S4. p32-33.

William Allin Storrer. The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: a Complete Catalog. Second Edition. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1979. ISBN 0-262-19171-7. LC 78-1306. NA737.W7A4 1978. photo of exterior, p235. geographical index, p14.

William Allin Storrer. The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993. ISBN 0-226-77624-7. LC 93-30127. NA737.W7A4 1993. plan drawing. — Available at Amazon.com

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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