All posts by Griffin Jones

Dwight D. Martin House Frank Lloyd Wright

The Dwight D. Martin House is considered by many Frank Lloyd Wright historians to be one of his finest creations not only during the prairie period, but of his entire career. Originally built for wealthy Buffalo businessman Darwin D. Martin. Wright completed the project in 1905, and it became a National Historic Landmark in 1986. The Martin House complex has 394 different Frank Lloyd Wright designed pieces of art glass. Over time, 3 of the 5 buildings in the Martin House complex have been destroyed, and in 1992 the Martin House Restoration Corporation began raising funds to complete the restoration. In 2009, their dream was realized as the home was restored, including the opening of the Eleanor and Wilson Greatpatch Pavilion, a new welcoming center for visitors.

Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright

Beginning in the winter of 1938, at the age of 70, Frank Lloyd Wright decided that he was going West. Wright purchased 160 acres in the Mcdowell Mountains in what is now known as Scottsdale Arizona. Shortly after the depression, Wright was low on funds and built this 40,000 square foot masterpiece for $10,000 which to me is absolutely astonishing. Lloyd Wright used massive amounts of natural light for this home, and spent every one of his winters here, along with his third wife and other architects, until his death. Of both Taliesin structures, this is my favorite one.

Taliesin East Frank Lloyd Wright

Taliesin East was the home and Estate of America’s most famous Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Taliesin East is located in the Jones Valley of Wisconsin, which was filled with glaciers in the early part of earths history, and as a result has become an extremely hilly portion of land. The Taliesin home is typical of the Prarie School Design that Wright was so fond of. An unhappy cook attempted to destroy the home in 1914, killing two people and trying to burn it down with a gas fire. After the home was rebuilt, another fire was started this time because of a storm, burning down the bedrooms of the home while Wrights studio was saved.

Frank Lloyd Wright Falling Water

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the year 1935, Falling Water is located in Pennsylvania and was meant to be a mountain retreat for the Kaufman family of Pittsburgh. The home is 5,300 square feet and was $155,000 to initially complete but was recently renovated for a staggering 11.4 million dollars. The architectural design of this building is absolutely astonishing to me. Its modern design is very cool. Falling Water has been preserved by the Pennsylvania Conservancy since 1963 and averages a visitation total of 4.5 million people per year. It is truly a landmark of American Architecture.

Casa Caldera

As I could not get the pictures to upload to the post, I have posted the link above so pictures of this incredible building can be seen. The Casa Caldera was designed by the DUST architects. It is located just a couple of miles North of the United States-Mexico border and is almost completely hidden from view. One of the coolest things about this building is that the DUST architects designed it this way. They wanted it to be hidden from the outside world, and it truly is as it cannot be seen unless you are 40 feet away. The house again is modern, like the rest of DUST’s work, and made of cement with few windows. You may open up the middle of the home from both sides and when this is done it becomes much more open air feeling than when these doors are closed. This is one of the coolest buildings I have seen in a while.

DUST Architects. Tucson Mountain Retreat

Tucson Mountain Retreat 2

For my Top 100 Architects of this century I was assigned to the DUST Architects. DUST does all of their work in the regions of Arizona and New Mexico and really try and show off a desert-ish feel. The Tucson Mountain Retreat is a single story home designed by DUST as a holiday home, and is located in the Sonoran desert. For me, the look of this home is very appealing because I am a fan of the desert style more modern home. Most of the DUST arhictects work looks similar to this and I will also blog about other designs they have created in my future blogs.


Located in Dubai, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel opened in the year 1997 to great fanfare. Like the Burj Khalifa, which I talked about in my last blog, the hotel was created in an effort to make Dubai a premiere global attraction. The hotel has 599 rooms, 19 different dining options, 19 beachside villas, a tennis court, as well as 6 different pools and a plethora of beach access. As far as the architecture goes, the visual appeal is evident to me. The structure was built with the architects wanting to create a building that looked like a sailboat, and I believe that they did a wonderful job.

The Burj Khalifa-Dubai

Burj Khalifa

Located in Dubai, construction of the Burj Khalifa began in 2004 due to the United Arab Emirates governments desire and decision to move away from a nearly exclusively oil driven economy. The buildings primary structure is concrete and is an example of the neo-futurism architecture style. The Burj Khalifa is 2,772 feet tall, contains 154 usable floors and has 9 maintenance floors which sit on the top of the building. It is the tallest building in the world today. The main reason that I decided to blog about the Burj is because it was one of my fonder memories from my trip to Dubai 4 years ago this past summer. In fact, if I’m being honest, it was one of two things about Dubai that were appealing to me in the slightest (the other being the Jumeirah hotel on the water, which I will talk about in my next blog). When we first saw the building I was honestly just in awe of its sheer size. The picture makes the building look tall but seeing it in person was a whole different experience. On top of that, the appeal of the design seems clear. Its a different look, but I do not believe that it is too in your face different even while still being neo-futuristic. Other than that, all I can say is there was just something about seeing it up close in person, looking up from the bottom and thinking as though this building may actually touch the clouds. It was truly magnificent.


For me, the movie “The Big Lebowski” is one of my all time favorites. My dad first showed it to me at what was probably too young of an age and at first I did not understand any of the jokes and hated it. As time grew on and I began to mature, the movie started making much more sense to me and I grew to love it. In one scene, the main character goes to this house to make a deal, and the first time I saw the movie I was immediately drawn to this house.  After doing some research, I discovered that this house is known as the Sheats-Goldstein residence.   Built in 1961 by John Lautner, the house sits in the Beverley Crest Valley, just outside of Beverley Hills and sports an amazing view of downtown LA, as you can sort of see in the 3rd picture.  The house was built from the inside out, with the designer wanting it to have a very close relationship with nature.  It is an example of American Organic Architecture.

30 St. Mary Axe

30 St. Mary Axe, also known as “The Gherkin” or “The Egg”, is a building in downtown London that has become an iconic building of the city. Built in 2003, the building stands 591 feet tall and contains 41 floors. The location of the building is on the grounds of the old Baltic Exchange, which was bombed in 1992, causing an uproar for a new, better building to be built in its stead. The building was designed by Norman Foster and the Arup group and is also an example of modern architecture, and uses energy saving methods which allows it to use half of the power another building of its size would use in one year. I am posting this building because when I visited London as a 7th grader, this was the first building I noticed, and even made my parents take me to the top to see out of it, even though the view was not nearly as spectacular as the ferris wheel in London.