Birdwing Architectural Highlights (click to view & read about the Wright history of Birdwing below photos. This Minnetonka home is documented in the exclusive book "Lloyd Wright: A History of the Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright Jr." by Alan Weintraub on page 170.
One of America's Great Estates
Minnetonka, MN USA
Frank Lloyd Wright Jr.'s Birdwing at Birdsong Estate
Lloyd Wright like his father Frank Lloyd Wright recognized the importance of blending landscape views with the interior of a house, Lloyd seemed to place the emphasis on the landscape with an artfully designed building that would protect people from the elements while still gaining full appreciation of the outdoors.
The plans for Birdwing built at the Birdsong Estate in Minnetonka, Minnesota were drawn by Lloyd Wright in 1960. However, the owners waited until they found the perfect piece of land to compliment the house and it wasn’t built until 1963. Lloyd expanded on his father’s designs, making homes more adaptable to the time with larger kitchens and baths. Birdwing rests on 12 pristine acres, 10 of which are in carefully manicured lawns with ponds and fountains. The 6500 square-foot home is a study in angles with rooms positioned for the best views. The interior consists of five bedrooms, five baths, open and spacious formal rooms and a large family room called the “Old Room” due to the old barn wood paneling. Happily, Lloyd maintained his father’s appreciation for massive fireplaces and Birdwing is graced with three. There is also a three-car garage, a clay tennis court and terraces perfect for enjoying the view of the grounds or for entertaining. The house is characteristic of Lloyd’s use of angular and cantilever modules, dominant horizontality and distinctive detailing, such as the use of cedar striated wood in both the exterior and interior of Birdwing. Virtually everything is original at Birdwing [so named after the plan diagram of the home with crossing wings].
Indoor Swimming Pool Plan for Birdwing
In 1988 Architect John Howe completed an architectural plan for the addition of an indoor swimming pool complex to Birdwing. Howe had been Frank Lloyd Wright's Chief Draftsman. The project was never completed, but the architectural plan and blueprints are available. John Howe had originally joined the Taliesin Fellowship of Frank Lloyd Wright in Spring Green, Wisconsin in 1932, becoming a charter member of the Fellowship and apprentice to Mr. Wright. Howe has often been called "the pencil in Mr. Wright's hand" for his lovely work on hundreds of architectural renderings. Howe remained at Taliesin until 1964 as one of the Taliesin Associated Architects during which time he designed more than 30 structures throughout the United States. In 1967 Howe moved to Minneapolis and opened an office which he maintained until his retirement in 1992.