Architect: Destree Design Architects, Inc.
Owner: Erdman Enterprises
Contractor: Krupp General Contractors
In the spirit of the Usonian tradition, the Prairie Café Building was inspired by the surrounding landscape of the Midwest and the architectural and philosophical traditions of Frank Lloyd Wright. Our challenge was designing on an unusual shaped lot in the center of an active and growing neighborhood. The result is an arced building anchored at one end with a classic Prairie-Style flat roof and a soaring prow at the other. Deep, overhanging eaves punctuate the ends invoking a sense of strength, shelter and protection. The two points are gracefully connected by the single-story curved segment with a wide ribbon of expansive picture windows detailed with horizontal mullions. Dividing the windows are brick colonnades topped by geometric cast stone capitals. Though originally envisioned with a stone façade, iron-spot brick with a heavy, exposed, concrete base was chosen to accentuate the building’s linear character while solidly anchoring it to the ground. Stucco banding and continuous cast stone sills were used to reinforce yet gently interrupt the masonry rhythm. The distinctive detailing of horizontally raked mortar joints, custom-cast concrete medallions and glazed accent tiles add a sophistication and timelessness to this homage to Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. The brick is carried into the interior of the café space for continuity and flow. The overall charm of this building is enhanced by the character, warmth and tonal variety of its masonry components. The Prairie Café Building is the perfect addition to this quaint, welcoming community and is an anchor to Middleton Hills’ social center.
Photos: Zane Wiliams Photography