The architectural facade reveals the
influence of Wright on Turner: The exterior
unites the home with nature. The shapes
of the island and slate floor in the kitchen
mirror the home.
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NTER 1995 • STYL
Building the Michigan houses for
Frank Lloyd Wright led Turner to settle
in Oakland County where he would go
on to design and build his own unique
One of these houses, built by Turner
in 1959 on Lower Long Lake in
Bloomfield Township, is nestled
overlooking the lake in a professionally
hilltop setting by
Birmingham landscape architect
Michael Dul. The architectural features
of the house reveal the influence of
Wright on Turner: a shallow hip roof
with large overhanging eaves; the rooms
of the house extending into the
landscape; an array of windows allowing
the outside to become part of the
Some of the windows define 120-
degree corners, where two plates of glass
adjoin without wood framing, serving
to open the dwelling to its surroundings.
This openness was also characteristic of Wright's attempt to break
down the confining features of his dwellings.
The natural materials Turner chose for the house included pecky
cypress, for both the interior and exterior, and a fine-grained slate
for the floors. He preferred to use these materials because of their
What is particularly fascinating about the house is the variety of
angles on the interior where the walls, windows and ceiling meet.
Seeing the inside of the house for the first time becomes a
multifaceted visual experience. The ceiling angles downward to
define the space within while providing a sense of shelter.
The angularity of the interior is further enhanced in the living
room with fine geometric details on the Eliel Saarinen-designed
credenza and side chairs that are veneered in exotic woods: East
Indian rosewood, African mahogany, Afrormosia and maple.
The shape of the area rug in the living room conforms beautifully
to the configuration of the room. It was custom-woven for the space
by the Stark Carpet Co. of New York. Abstract patterns, in 15
different colors on a peach background, echo the lines of the interior.
There is an integration of the furnishings within the rooms, the