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SDR
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Post by SDR »

The original plan shows double (paired) doors from bedrooms to terrace -- doesn't it ? I don't object to some improvisation with this unbuilt project, though I'm not seeing why the reversed single door swings improve use or flow. The bathrooms certainly would have doors -- or maybe curtains ?

This is a summer cabin; Wright may even have intended exposed studs inside, like many a summer "camp" or shore house I've seen. The Smith house was to be a year-round residence ?

The kitchen may be labeled "court," but I don't buy it as an outdoor space. (It would be helpful, even necessary, to become familiar with the other cabin plans, as the group was designed together and there might be useful corroborating shared details or conditions.) I see a door leading to each
"loggia," which I take to be porches. Wright's dashed lines where their parapets would be are unorthodox -- but I'd say there has to be a line there, which would complete the envelope and keep the drawing from representing an impossibility (?).

I can't see another reading for what's indoors and what's out, on Wright's drawing. Too bad we don't have an elevation of that side; what are the kitchen windows like, for instance . . .

The roof is certainly complex. There are some off-axis red lines on that drawing -- I mean crooked ones. But I've never caught Wright fudging architectural resolution on a drawing, so I'd expect your elevation to match his. But maybe I wish for too much ?

Carry on, corporal . . . !

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

The Fir Tree plan published in black and white shows an all-over grid. I wonder if this tracing-paper drawing is actually two sheets, with the grid and perhaps other material drawn on an under-layer . . .


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SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thanks, James. A Brandes photo shows a vertical wall with raked bed joints, a more Wrightian condition than the(over-) filled joints of the battered wall.

And those stepped joints literally support growth, of mosses apparently. Not great, long-term . . . ?

SDR

Meisolus
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Post by Meisolus »

SDR - Thanks for the picture showing the grid. I think it probably is two pieces of paper on top of each other. I can actually see it in the color photo on page 1 but it's very faint. I'll probably have to readjust my plan accordingly, but it will be worth it.

My justification for changing the door swing is that the way Wright shows it means the door opens towards a longer wall perpendicular to the door. If you're carrying something, you have to wait until the door is almost 90 degrees open in order to go through, but if it opens the other way you have more space because the other wall doesn't stick out as far. Does that make sense?

I will look at other cabins for clues. I feel as though the kitchen cannot be an outdoor space as well, but there does not seem to be any indication of glazing. We'll see where this goes.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Very good. Yes, that door swing does make sense, and its the kind of distinction that separates responsible designers from the rest . . .

Those rows of square columns presumably have glass between them, including the small space at the "bottom" of the row. But that's the easy part; what Wright intended by the dashed lines, and what sort of glazing is at the "prow" of the kitchen is mysterious. I'm sure you'll come up with something reasonable.

It would be great to find an authoritative description of these cabins. I'll rummage around some more.

SDR

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Don't know if anyone has mentioned this.
The elevations show a differing central masonry mass.
One has the cantilievered prow of the fireplace continuous through the roof.
The other eliminates this.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

There are several differences in the roof, as well, between the view drawing and the elevation. Choices will have to be made. I would take the perspective as the more developed and thus later version; committing to the labor of a rendering would seem to indicate more considered preferences ? In any event, if one view or the other better matches the plan, I suppose that would be the way to go . . .

SDR

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Yep, good point.
The roof with the straight masonry would be a hell of a lot easier.
Never realized the central "diamond" in the roof was glass before seeing this color rendering.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

That raises the issue of section; what does the living room ceiling look like ? Perhaps that's why Meisolus mentioned the Nakoma project as a possible resource . . .

Previously unpublished Nakoma drawings here ?

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... -moma.html

Published elevation and section to follow . . .

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Nakoma Country Club project, 1924


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Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

The doors from living room to terrace should definitely be as FLW had them, not hinged otherwise. Whether clumsy or not, it is the way he would have intended them to relate to the plan.

The grid shows the hallways to the kitchen as two units wide, which strongly suggests a 16" square grid and 32"-wide halls. The 32" glazed space betwixt the columns were probably meant to be doors leading to the loggias, otherwise the only way to reach them, if the glazing is fixed, would be through the kitchen, which seems unlikely. If this is a block house, the 16" measure gives you the entire enclosure. Just count the blocks and draw.

I don't know why you have a problem with the roof. The overhang is drawn all the way around. It's just a matter of connecting the dots. It is an overly complicated roof design, but from a graphic standpoint, hardly difficult to figure out. Since the overhang includes the "kitchen court," obviously the kitchen is not outside.

I agree that the chimney in the perspective would be the choice rather than the broad flat one, although the Davis chimney is flat.

Meisolus
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Post by Meisolus »

I don't know that me changing the swing of the door will really matter in the end. They won't be open in the model anyway, and it's literally the difference of a doorknob and hinge placement. We can argue about it if the design actually gets that far.

I would love for the grid to be 16" wide, but if you look at the scale drawn to the side, I think it indicates that a square is to be 12". If you can come up with a way for it to be more, I'd love for that to be the truth.

My problem with the roof isn't in understanding it, it's in creating it. It's fine to draw some lines and have everything come to a point, but when you're working with unusual angles it can be quite tricky to get everything to come together properly.

I'm definitely in favor of the angled chimney.

SDR, thank you for the Nakoma information! I think we can all agree there are some distinct similarities.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Okay -- time to sharpen up the plan drawing. I have enlarged it, straightened, it, enhanced it. The perimeter grid marks, seen here at the top, are marked A,B,C, etc, starting from an unstated X (what is zero in the
alphabet ?) at the centerline.

I buy Roderick's contention that the grid is a 16"x16" one; the lettered master would then be a four-foot grid, common to so many Wright plans.

The 12" scale may be intended for the vertical; once the plan and elevation are coordinated, the scale could be tried on the elevation, for confirmation. Perhaps Wright's use of that scale is incomplete as drawn . . .

I see only a pair of doors from the corners of the kitchen to the loggias. We can pretend, or not, that Wright would have made a row of doors between the columns -- but that's not what's drawn in this sketch plan.
(Doors at the narrow end of the loggias would have opened from the living room, but that's not drawn either -- nor is it possible given the geometry thus far provided.) As there is a massive terrace on the downhill
(view) side of the house, these little "kitchen loggias" make sense to me as drawn. We'll never know what the Old Man intended, beyond what's in this sketch. (The dashed lines at the loggias are indeed peculiar;
how do you read those, anybody ?)

The loggias originated here as left-over space, I'd say; too small to be useful rooms, they need to be left open for light and view from the kitchen ? The architect's impulse to introduce orthogonal order in his ovoid
plan via a pair of colonnades is perfectly understandable; otherwise small lozenge-shaped rooms could have occupied the space, narrowing the kitchen almost not at all, but introducing a passage problem. Messy . . .

It would be possible for a fully-roofed summer kitchen to be open at part (or all) of its perimeter; the two conditions are not mutually exclusive. With doors as drawn, that's unlikely here, it seems to me.


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Last edited by SDR on Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:03 am, edited 3 times in total.

Meisolus
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Post by Meisolus »

My guess for the dashed line is a difference in floor materiality between the loggia and the pavement out back.

I agree that the columns in the kitchen would have glazing between them, not doors.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

The plan is a bit fuzzy, but if you measure the width of the chimney, it appears to be (according to the scale) 10'8" = 128", and grid shows it to be 8 units across, thus the units are 16" square. At 12", the hallways to the kitchen would be 24" wide, and I think FLW was not making hallways that narrow before the Usonian era. And the only doors from the living room onto the terrace would be hemmed in by walls 24" apart, which seems a bit tight. The "prows" in the 2 bedrooms would be only 4' wide; at 5'4" they would be narrow enough.

The numbers or letters, or whatever they are, across the top are 4' apart, and 3 units.

The glazing between the posts may be fixed glass, but that would mean the loggias were little more than service porches. Notice the uppermost opening on the right and the center one on the left: They appear to have a line dividing them in two, which could indicate double glass doors.

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