Mrs Clinton Walker house, "Cabin on the Rocks"

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Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

DRN, I don't doubt that they 'are' metal, but were they originally? That I question. If glass, it probably leaked like a sieve, making the conversion to metal an obvious choice.

The slope, glass or metal, was probably intended to drain whatever water did get into the window, so it wouldn't drip down the backs of those seated alongside the windows. If they were originally glass, the sightline would not have been so important, but if metal, it would have been.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

The most visible and intrusive horizontal element is probably the double window frame members (top of one, bottom of the next), making the horizontal infill of less visual import ?

The glass line is well outboard of the seat backs -- the thickness of the masonry wall intervenes. But the drainage issue is pertinent nevertheless . . .

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Drain + wind = salt spray on the nape.

CEP
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Post by CEP »

To Rod's point (It seems obvious that the intention of the windows, metal or glass, was to allow ventilation, otherwise, what would be the point of the design?) - this design was also planned for the Haldorn project, just around the point from Walker.

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Regarding the stepped section through the window wall.
Rod may be correct.
However, I would first think that the operable vents were employed to
justify the form of the design.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

I disagree, Tom. That would be backing into the function. Sans vents, the room would be without operable sash, making it stuffy. The two elements - design and function - evolved together to maximize the view while sheltering the house from the ocean spray. As Clark points out, Haldorn had exactly the same fenestration for the same effect on a similarly located lot.

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Quite possibly.
What you say is certainly the more mature view reflecting Wright.
and...one would hope, the correct one.

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Perhaps I should have said: "Quite probably"

SDR
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Post by SDR »

If Roderick's point is correct, the kitchen door which the client insisted upon, and the entry door on the opposite side of the house, would together provide the only source of cross-flow ventilation -- which was apparently not a part of Wright's plan.

And, wind-blown rain and sea-water are now presumably excluded from the living room. It would be interesting to have occupants' accounts of these matters.

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

I just noticed, the title of this thread is "Mr. Clinton Walker house...." Actually, Mr. Walker, grandson of the founder of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, died before Della built the house.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thanks -- I'll correct that. It's always been known as the Mrs Clinton Walker residence; don't know how that got by me.

S

wjsaia
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Post by wjsaia »

Image

One sees here, on Sheet 6 of the original Walker house working drawings prepared at Taliesin under FLlW’s direction and signed by him, hinged ½-inch thick painted plywood lipped panels as the vent flaps. Half of the panel thickness was inset into openings bounded by the zigzag-shaped vertical stanchions and the outboard horizontal formed steel angles that ran continuously. The inboard angles run between stanchions, and the flaps were shown to be secured to the inboard, formed angles with piano hinges. (The geometry of their proposed operation was not fully studied or worked out with the preparation of this drawing.)

The house was not outfitted with the full complement of operative vent flaps shown on the drawings, but adequate cross ventilation was provided for the Living Room. In these glazing arrays, the upper two “shelves� were constructed very similarly to as shown in the drawing, but with the painted plywood panels installed as stationary closures. In No. 2 of DRN’s lovely photos posted on Page 1 of this thread, one may observe the quarter-rounded “lips� of the fixed panels that constitute the upper two “shelves.� In No. 7 of DRN’s photos the lipped edge of the fixed panels forming the upper “shelf� can also be seen. DRN’s No. 4 photo shows from the interior the undersides of the fixed wood closures in their freshly and excellently painted condition last year.

Imagine approaching the accomplishment of a full implementation of the ventilation indicated on the cross section drawing of the Living Room, and a few things quickly come to mind: one would begin to appreciate how awkward the physical operation of the 4-foot long vent flaps would be, at least from the interior. There was no readily available friction-type hardware that might hold them in other than a vertical, “flapping� position such that they would obscure visibility almost catastrophically for this circumstance; and there is no easily executed provision for inclusion of insect screens. Returning to DRN’s No. 2 photo, one can see the interior surface of the lowest “shelf� at the near corner. Looking over and past the glass ball floats one sees on the shelf a dark shape. This is one of several screened vent openings that are positioned in the lowest "shelf" around the Living Room. In DRN’s No. 1 photo, one can somewhat discern several linear shadows on the interior of the lowest “shelf.� Those are these vent openings. Each is fitted on the interior with a sliding panel about 16 inches long, easily and gracefully finger-operated by the lady of the cabin to suit outside air circulation needs irrespective of open or closed exterior doors . . .

I would have to think that similar means of ventilation is provided for each bedroom in the lower “shelf� of the glazing array that runs along that wing of the house, but I have not personally observed those elements.

WJS
Last edited by wjsaia on Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thank you, Bill. Most helpful. I see this in the Hardware specs:

"Plywood vent openings in living room and bedroom
glazing to be provided with two catches and two fric-
tion adjusters per each _____ _____ section. Large
glazed doors shall have casement fasteners etc etc. . ."

Quite right that sliding vent doors would be much easier to manipulate than the drop-down ones ?

SDR

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Where did you find this drawing?!

DRN
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Post by DRN »

While doing some gift shopping this evening, I thought I was hallucinating when I saw Taliesin lamps on a Jumbotron screen at the entrance to a Hollister shop. YouTube has proof that the lamps were real and possibly in the Walker house:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DKUXiO5zIqQ

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