FARMER Eric Price really did dream the impossible dream: to build himself a house in the style of his inspiration, US architect Frank Lloyd Wright, on the family farm in Herefordshire.

One of Wright’s main beliefs was that buildings should ‘grace’ rather than ‘disgrace’ the landscape. Certainly 71-year-old Eric’s completed house, an example of organic architecture in harmony with nature, sits well in the grounds of the Price family’s 15th-century farmhouse.

Out of doors, Eric tends the farm’s 600 acres with his son, Christopher. Indoors, he can indulge in features inspired by Wright such as the lofty ceiling and central chimney. This is not just a house, it’s a Frank Lloyd Wright house, a blessed space filled with light, designed to lift the human spirit.

Why Wright? Eric explains that a photograph of Wright’s famous work, Fallingwater, built over a waterfall in Pennsylvania, was to spark his imagination as a child. The architect’s legacy to the world was no less than 1,000 designs and stunning public spaces such as the Guggenheim Museum in New York. A farmer’s son, Wright‘s place in history is secure as one of the greatest forces in US architecture, and Simon and Garfunkel even immortalised him in a song released on their 1970 album, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

When Eric left Lady Hawkins’ School in Kington, he was already inspired to undertake a six-year study of architecture in Bath. Leaving university with two degrees under his belt, he went on to work in Bristol, and later Manchester. As ever, the Wright influence was never far from his heart.

When his father was ill in 1980, Eric returned home when he could to help out on the farm. Eventually he settled back in Lyonshall with his wife, Clare, since when Eric has managed to balance all those agricultural commitments with an ongoing passion for architectural design.

Over the years the family has carved out a successful niche, a well-trodden path bringing customers to the farm shop for luscious locally grown cherries, blueberries, strawberries and apples. In fact, Eric will be applying his considerable artistic skills to produce large murals of an apple tree and a cherry tree on the expansive walls of his house. As yet, Eric and Clare have not come up with a name for their new home, but then there is still work to do in and around the building.

Clare herself is no stranger to Wright’s designs. Over the years Eric has introduced his wife to the waterfall building, the Guggenheim Museum and Wright’s remarkable Taliesin estate in Wisconsin. Now Wright’s influence can be seen in the long, low building between Lyonshall and Pembridge. The architect’s Prairie Style is echoed in the low-pitched roof and deeply overhanging eaves, and a relatively modest front door and emergence into the striking high-ceilinged space recalls the architectural system of ‘compression to expansion’.

“His buildings are beautiful on the outside and the inside, they’re all works of art,” Eric enthuses. “He redefined what was possible.”

These were not just modernist glass boxes. “These were natural buildings which belong in the landscape where they stand, low to the ground with a sense of shelter. He put the capital ‘N’ in nature and called it his church.”

Like Wright, Eric believes in learning by doing and has found huge satisfaction in creating his own FLW house. Much of the hard graft has been done by Eric, though he praises the efficiency of local builder and bricklayer Ray Richards, who has helped him out.

“Wright’s as much in vogue now as he ever was,” he says. As he adds the finishing touches to the new house, Eric already has thoughts of embarking on a second Wright-style home in Herefordshire for his daughter, Cathy, a GP who hopes to return to the county with her husband and two children.

“Modern houses can be soulless, but Wright’s designs give a spiritual feeling, they make you feel better.”

Having built his lifelong dream in bricks and mortar, he now lives and breathes the work of his inspiration on a daily basis.

“I never consider myself a great farmer,” he muses. “It was always my second string.”