Rayward House, Tirranna
New Canaan, CT 1955
Introducing Tirranna, a sprawling 7,000 sq ft Usonian estate in the heart of New Canaan, Connecticut. This architectural marvel, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1955, showcases his genius and unparalleled talent. Situated on 14 acres of pristine land, this is one of Wright’s largest private residences ever completed.
With 7 bedrooms and 8.5 baths, Tirranna embodies Wright’s classic hemicycle design, seamlessly blending curved lines with right angles, combining exceptional geometric and spatial complexities for optimum functionality.
The home includes many of Wright’s classic design elements such as: low-slung roofs, Philippine mahogany walls, large windows, and Cherokee red concrete floors with radiant heat. The current owners have lovingly maintained the original architectural integrity, preserving details like built-in bookshelves, brass hardware, original lighting, cabinetry and furnishings.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s understanding of human nature and how we like to live are evident throughout Tirranna. He combined and contrasted soaring ceilings and open living spaces with cozy and cocoon-like mahogany-paneled bedrooms. The living room and dining area opens to an expansive circular patio that overlooks the pool and nature reserve beyond. The streamlined and very functional wood-paneled and stainless-steel kitchen epitomizes the mid-century modern aesthetic. Each of the bathrooms are spa-like and are adorned with spectacular wood panels and unique features.
A two-hundred-foot covered outdoor walkway leads to a greenhouse with caretakers / guest quarters, along with a carport. This is a full one-bedroom house with a lovely kitchen, cozy bedroom, and full bath. The living room has a view to the rear garden allowing guests to commune with nature.
Also on the property are a cozy guest studio with full bath, a tennis court, a large barn, a wine cellar which is a converted bomb shelter, a playhouse, and even a rooftop observatory, complete with a telescope.
Tirranna is an Australian Aboriginal word, meaning “running waters”, and it is the perfect name for this home as it is cantilevered over a pond, and overlooks a waterfall on the Noroton river.
Follow a sculpture-lined path leading to the nearby river and cross it via one of the three strategically-placed bridges. On the other side you can enjoy a barefoot stroll along the moss-covered trails surrounding the pond.
The beautiful grounds were thoughtfully designed by Frank Okamura, the landscape architect known for restoring the Japanese gardens at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden in the late 1940’s. Along with Charles Middeleer, another famous landscape architect of the time, he carefully designed the landscape to ensure privacy, making Tirranna the ideal sanctuary for those seeking a tranquil lifestyle.
Photos by Udor Photography