There’s something poetic about the last completed design by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright going up for sale at the same time as one of his earliest residential projects.
Just west of Chicago, the two-story shingled George W. Smith house, an early creation, is listed for $595,000, while across the country, in Phoenix, Wright’s Circular Sun House, his final residential design before passing, was recently relisted for $8.95 million.
Though the George W. Smith home shows a gifted architect stepping into experimentation, the Circular Sun House, also known as the Norman Lykes House, is the creation of a master. The monolithic home in the desert mountains is one of the architect’s most unique offerings, and one of only 14 circular homes he designed in his lifetime. Drafted to mimic the curves of the nearby bluffs, the home spans 3,095 square feet and is outfitted with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, an office, den, and library.
The interior walls are clad in Philippine mahogany, while the floors are slate. Other unique elements include Italian rose marble in the master bath and dozens of steel-framed windows that open to the views of Palm Canyon below. Wright designed the home as a series of overlapping concentric circles, which creates a distinct floor plan that “flows seamlessly from one room to another,” the listing reads. Notably, circular motifs continue to appear throughout the property, including cutouts around an exterior wall, which conceals a crescent-shaped pool, as well as half-circle windows found in the kitchen and the office. Many items of the built-in furniture, a common element of Wright designs, also make use of curved or circular forms.
According to the Zillow listing, The Circular Sun House was most recently sold in November of 2019. Its current owners then listed the property for sale in September of 2020 for $7,950,000, before pulling the listing in October of 2022 and relisting it at $8,950,000—a nearly 13% increase—in January of 2023. Current owners have rented the iconic home on Airbnb, which would, of course, be welcomed by countless Frank Lloyd Wright fans if the new owners wanted to keep the tradition alive.