Lake Tahoe Summer Colony

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Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Tahoe:
Mies, I agree with SDR, the returns in the bedroom windows should be glass, not solid wall. SDR's drawings are convincing. Between the innermost windows and the retaining wall would be a small planter, as suggested by the perspective where there seems to be flora dangling from the right bedroom.

All windows and doors should be the same height. I am also convinced that the apertures in the two hallways should be outward-swinging, glass double doors, 32" wide. FLW would not have those loggias accessible from only the doors in the kitchen. My guess is that the exterior wall of the kitchen was simply not completed. It might possibly be a single wall of perforated blocks, or a non-structural wall of windows.

Matt
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Post by Matt »

RE Metal, I have some drawings that provide more info on floor plan arrangements, but I don't know if they ever went to construction docs. That would be fascinating to see.

I think the Rand design owes more to the Noble apartment project than the metal houses. The Foreman project...of Wa D.C. I believe...is my fav unbuilt house. It is my "if I had a lot of money" house. I think there is more Wright in its compact form than any other project. It makes me wonder why there weren' more designs using the Fallingwater palette of glass, rough-cut stone, and concrete (or stucco) elements.

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

We have discussed the Foreman project here, but even Google can't find that thread. Here are drawings found in Taschen (that's p 473, not 173). One view of the house evokes Fallingwater; the other, not so much:


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Roderick's prescription for the Fir Tree house seem just right to me.

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Elizabeth Noble Apartments, Los Angeles, 1930 (Taschen II, pp 203-4:


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SDR
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Post by SDR »

I simply don't see the point in denying that angled pencil marks, and a purposely angled parapet intervention, occur on the Ayn Rand perspective. The question is, who put them there, when, and why ?

I don't suggest that Wright intended to alter the design -- but (if we accept that all graphite marks on this drawing are in Wright's hand, and that they post-date the completion of the drawing in another's hand), it may be
that he was toying with the idea, even briefly.

Not only does the left-hand parapet addition -- which involved a lot of surprisingly successful erasure of colored pencil -- have an outward-canted corner, clearly evident when compared to the nearby stone pier, the other
verticals in the drawing, the central page gutter and the left edge of the drawing, but there are other faint but discernible canted pencil lines, seen at the right-hand end of the building.

That one of these suggestive lines cants inward, while three others (including the fully rendered left hand parapet) cant outwards, only adds to the mystery. They do not, however, suggest hysteria or mesmerism, to me.


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SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

a dog with a bone

Matt
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Post by Matt »

What's interesting to me about this discussion of Rand is that we have this great presentation drawing and not a whole lot else.

Where presentation drawings of half- or 3/4-baked schemes typically done? I'd have thought you'd only go to a perspective if a solid plan and elevation had been worked out.

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Matt, there are plans for both the original All-Steel 3-unit building and Rand, they just have not been published except in JTF, which published All-Steel, but not Rand.

Reidy
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Location: Fremont CA

Post by Reidy »

Does anyone have a street address for the Elizabeth Noble design? Not many neighborhoods in LA are hilly and could have supported that density in 1930.

Meisolus
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Post by Meisolus »

Here are three options for the prow in the bedrooms at the Fir Tree Cabin.

Option 1:

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I think this seems to be the option shown in the perspective. That definitely has the angled portion without the secondary triangle flaring out. It's difficult to tell though. In both reproductions, there is a blurriness around where the prow connects to the main building. (Incidentally, at high magnification, I think you can see that there has been a bit of smearing of the image between the two photos. Not surprising after 90 years, but still sad.)

Option 2:

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It's the same as option 1, but with the extra angle. I agree this should be some kind of planter, but I'm not sure that what is shown on the right hand side of the rendering is plants dangling down. It's so straight I wonder if it's a decorative element. The Lodge Cabin has some elements like this and I wonder if that could be a variant.

Option 3:

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If you look carefully at the plan, you can see that this is an option, faintly drawn on the left side. When I built the model, it lined up perfectly with everything else. It would also enable the room to lose the corner piers, which I find very awkward.

The conclusion I'm coming to is that Wright considered option 1 to be the last word. Personally, I think I prefer option 3 the most, but I don't feel comfortable overruling Mr. Wright (unless one of you can give me a justification!).

The whole space is a bit awkward and needlessly complicated to my mind. The steep angle below the jutting prow means that the floor area in the prow is reduced - what does that become? A planter? Then again, it wouldn't surprise me if Wright could see the room in his mind and there are a bunch of design elements he never put down on paper that would have explained the rest.

What do you all think?

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Image

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Unless it's a glorified window seat or sleeping surface, this prow element should, it seems to me, serve as extended floor area in the room. Yes, the wall surface below the glass would cant back into the room, but that alone
doesn't prevent the floor from being a continuous plane throughout the space . . . does it ?

The plan diagonals that you found, the ones that parallel the terrace wall and prow face, might be a part of the composition -- but I see no evidence anywhere on the plan drawing of the outward cant to a triangular section of
the prow structure below the glass line. And I think the plan drawing takes precedence over any other document, despite previously giving support to the view drawing as a possibly definitive version of the scheme.

Those canted triangles are unnecessary; though they do connect two plan elements in a novel way, they introduce yet another and novel angle to an already complex affair. They may or may not be inferred from an elevation
-- itself a surprise entry with novel features -- or from the perspective drawing -- but I'd lose them, I think -- just as my previously-posted projected modification to the beltline is extraneous and suspect, being supported only by
that elevation drawing and not by the plan.

That's my reaction, for what it's worth.

Each of those vertical and canted prow planes must in the end be faced with parallel boards, with nipped corners suggested by the view drawing, perhaps, and those boards would ideally be of a common width throughout, in
keeping with Wright's demonstrated preference for continuity of form and of detail.

SDR

Meisolus
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Post by Meisolus »

I think you're right SDR. We'll go with option 1 and I'll see what I can do about making the interior of the prow into a usable space. And then I also get to try and figure out the roof, which I optimistically think will be a nightmare.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Roderick said it's simple. Too bad there isn't a mechanism to translate what's in his head onto a piece of paper . . .

But I'm sure you'll persevere. No twisted planes, please ! I know that SketchUp makes those impossible -- or at least very difficult to achieve. (What would Candela or Calatrava do with SketchUp ?)

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

The perspective suggests that the likelier version is #1. The extra extension would make for an awkward geometry by FLW's standards. As can be seen on the plan, the entire prow, with the implied extension into the bedroom, is a regular hexagon; distorting that shape would be very un-Wright-like. The floor could extend most of the way into the bay. Draw a section, and see how far the floor can go until it can't for the cant. It would probably extend to the final bend in the prow.

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