kYodai - Square Lake, MN
Single Family Residential
What is kYodai? In the fall of 2022 our team @imprintarchitecture were approached by two long-time friends who would present us with the extraordinary opportunity to design a new home on the coattails of their existing Frank Lloyd Wright home. Their existing home graced the lakefront property next door and has its own unique history. The plans, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his sister Maginal Barney, would eventually be gifted to our new clients who would in turn build that home and name it Bear Run. If you follow Frank Lloyd Wright, I'm sure you will know of the reference. But, it wasn't that simple and the home wasn't only named for the location of the famous Fallingwater home, it was also named in honor of our client's pups. First Bear then Grizzly, Panda, Kodiak, Yogi, BooBoo and now Bear II along with Flicka and Yoshi as honorary bears. We have been able to meet Bear II and his brother, Yoshi, which means "Respectful" and "Good Luck" in Japanese.
The significance and history of the long-time friendship, the influences in Wright's designs, the first Bear pup and now brothers Bear II and Yoshi, were not lost on us. In fact, they became the raison d'etre for our designs. As we leaned in, we knew that the houses were to be brothers, different but yet the same. From there, the moniker kYodai, Japanese for "Brothers," was born. During the initial schematics we were green (the OTHER Yoshi) with envy at Mr. Wright's genius and the beautiful Bear Run that magically sits next to the vacant parcel we were tasked with. How do we show respect without replicating Mr. Wright? How do we create a design that can stand the test of time side by side with Bear Run? How do we imbue modern, timeless sophistication while still honoring the budget?
As we explored design options, one emerged as the winner. As it was developed further, it would take on the shape of a Y. Within this plan, there was a continued significance to this geometry that was still referring back to the Wright home. Why the "Y"?
"Cottage C," designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1948, now built and named Bear Run is simply spectacular. Can you imagine the courage and confidence of Mr. Wright at the time to design such a roof? An asymmetrical tetrahedron with the sharpest cantilever, the limestone walls carved to the most acute angle, a roof form that one could imagine encapsulating the most jagged rock formations emerging from the earth. The audacity! As students of architecture, we had studied and visited many Frank Lloyd Wright structures, but we had never seen one with such a singular dramatic moment. It was, and is, a work of art.
Drawing from this art form was not easy. Three dynamic designs were presented, but one named Tessellate, inspired by Japanese marquetry, emerged as the winner. It was a three sided design that followed the point of Bear Run's roof and then essentially pulled Bear Run's three-sided roof plan diagram inside out. In creating the three wings, all capped with a low-hipped, cantilevered Japanese inspired roof, the new house speaks to Mr. Wright's design next door in the most modest, respectful way, like brothers. And so it was that Tessellate would become kYodai, the Japanese word for brothers.
Pan Right for Photos:
1 - 6.) kYodai Renderings
7.) Cabin C Drawings
8 & 9.) Bear Run
10.) Bear the First
12.) Bear the Second and Yoshi at Bear Run
13.) kYddai Logo
14.) kYodai and Bear Run Site Plan Rendering
Bear Run House "Cottage C" Project Credits:
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright and David Upgren
Photography: Tomy O'Brien Photography
Bear and Yoshi Photos: Courtesy of the Owner
"Cottage C" Reference: An unbuilt Wright design, originally envisioned by Mr. Wright for his sister Maginel Wright Barney, naming the design Maginel’s Cottage
kYodai Renderings by Imprint Architecture and Design, LLC
Architect: Imprint Architecture and Design, LLC
Builder: Hagstrom Builder