Theses Master's

Derivative Design: A new approach for an organic growth of historic Usonian Houses

Garcia-Castillo, Angel

The main goal of this thesis is to embrace Derivative Design as a methodology to define design principles for the development of sympathetic additions to historic Usonian Houses. The thesis has a Usonian house, 4 Wright Way, as a case of study. 4 Wright Way is a house located in Usonia Homes, in Pleasantville, New York; it was designed by David Henken in 1949 as part of the first group of homes built in the community under Frank Lloyd Wright's review and approval. 4 Wright Way and Usonia Homes are physical manifestations of David Henken's vision of establishing a cooperative suburban community based on Wright's Usonian ideal. Usonia Homes was designated a Historic District and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.
Through the application of a Derivative Design methodology, this thesis develops two proposals for the design of 4 Wright Way's new addition, having as its final goals to assist in the prevention of the complete dilution of Wright's Usonian concept, to preserve the joint effort of David Henken and the original Usonian members to build the largest Usonian community in the country, and to prove that Derivative Design is a helpful tool to facilitate the work of other architects facing the problem of expanding historic Usonian houses.


  • thumnail for GarciaCastilloAngel_GSAPPHP_2015_Thesis.pdf GarciaCastilloAngel_GSAPPHP_2015_Thesis.pdf application/pdf 6.3 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Otero-Pailos, Jorge
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
October 20, 2015