Falling Water landscape drawings

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SDR
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by SDR »

Me too. (Far too many of my books were obtained on the basis of their illustrations . . .!)

S

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

Structural drama is all over this building.

The "deep dive" into these drawings has led to being aware of things I would not have otherwise seen.
One of those is the concrete beam that supports the terrace of the third level.
It's 46ft long extending from Mrs Kauffman's fireplace all the way across the house to the east wall of the guest bedroom.
It is interrupted only by the bathroom walls which are steel stud plaster walls and non structural.
Knowing this then there is a sense in which one wants to take those bathrooms walls out and see the beam clear and clean.
Can't have everything, but the uninterupted glazing across that entire front is some compensation.

Then there is the eastern terrace.
The northwest terrace is obviously dramatic levitating from the boulder and all.
Whereas the eastern terrace seems to slip by unobserved.
The eastern terrace is not all that small, it's big, .... and, there is nothing under it, nothing!
All shall be revealed in my next post.
Stay tuned.
Last edited by Tom on Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

I ran into a discrepancy in dimensions which I want to iron out before I start posting drawings again.
... and this may take a little investigation and time. None of the drawings in the file or in the publications I'm working with match - each other and each often contains errors within themselves (GA-1970, Kauffman Jr's book, HABS). It sort of feels like nobody really knows what's going on in this place.

In the meantime it does strike me how strong the 12 ft bay structural grid is in the plan.
It makes an appearance on the main level in the central square but by the time your on the top level, if not the second, it's gone.
In addition from the north side of the house you have no clue about that grid.
Most other architects I'm sure would carry it through somehow.
I think the difference is distinct enough to say that it's part of what makes FW so enigmatic.
... and the north side of the house in plan, how it steps and folds up the contour of the road like water falling over rocks.

SDR
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by SDR »

Tom provides a drawing, with an accompanying legend:

Main Level Sketch
Dotted orange lines indicate second level floor structure. Mrs Kaufmanns balcony is 2ft shy of making the layout a perfect double square.
Dotted lead lines indicate structure below (ie: the main cantilevered beams).
Main beam on unit line #2 is embedded into the main stone chimney mass.
Diagonal hatching on unit line 2 between lines A and B-1 indicate poured in place concrete "lintel" over fireplace. This is continuous, yet offset, with the western parapet beam of the second level balcony. I don't know how this works exactly but will make it as clear as I possibly can in later drawings- a curious element to be aware of.
B/2, B/4, C/2 & C/4 are the geometric corners of the central structural square.

Image

(to enlarge, click on drawing and open in a new tab)

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

I found the shot linked below helpful for a number of reasons, two follow:

First, check out the condition on the south face of the chimney mass where it meets the ceiling.
Note that the fireplace mass is not all stone, a big piece of poured in place concrete is there as some kind of lintel.
Concrete, stone, and the western second level balcony beam all come together here.

Second, shots of this room from the south looking back into the room toward the north are,
I think, much fewer than those looking out toward the south from the north.
This is the view to experience the totality of the room and hence the reason why Wright put those seats
along the southern parapet.
You never get to do this when you take the tour.
They never let you sit down and observe the place.

In my investigation I've noticed that nothing seems to line up exactly as one might expect at Fallingwater.
The house is full of minor shifts and adjustments.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rickstill ... 49844@N02/

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

Another clarifying shot from Stillings:
What is of interest here is the back wall to the living room,

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rickstill ... otostream/

SDR
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by SDR »

We haven't been speaking of Fallingwater landscape paintings since early in the life of this thread---not an uncommon phenomenon at Wright Chat---but we can use color for its own sake, to help analyze the plans we're looking at. I'm sure someone must have created overlays of the three floor plans of the house---somewhat analogous to Wright's original tracing-paper overlays, an integral part of the Fallingwater Origin Legend (FOL) for lo these many years. But I haven't encountered such overlays in print, so I thought I'd give it a try---using the published presentation plans of the house as found in the 1970 GA oversized paperback on the house.

I have colored each floor differently, then combined the first-and-second floor plans on one sheet, and the second-and-third floor plans on another. (Printing all three plans on a single sheet produced a largely illegible muddle.) The colors are employed consistently, blue being given to the middle floor in all cases. I do not have the skills necessary to accomplish these tasks digitally, so I rely on my scanner/printer and the editing functions found in iPhoto on my desktop.

What use if any this will be to Tom or other toilers in the field of Fallingwater studies, I cannot say, but I thought it would be an enjoyable exercise in any event. We seldom see the plans of this house presented together at the same scale. It may be, of course, that these drawings do not perfectly represent what was built . . .


Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 1 and 2

Image 2 and 3

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

This is great. Don't know how you did it but it's going to be very helpful to me.

Expecially because the archives drawings sent to me have no structural plan of the third level.
Which is also to say that if the drawings sent to me from the archives are all they have on Fallingwater
then they don't have sh&t. (many of the drawings in the Monograph are not to be found in the archives set.)
But it's also clear to me that the complexity of this house required much more ... Very Much More, documentation then what I've seen so far. ... and so far I have not seen one drawing the correspnds to what was actually built.
Somewhere those documents exists. That kind of material just does not disappear - right?

I'm sure others have noticed this but one of the things that happens when you take a close look here is you start seeing things. I will now always associate Fallingwater with Wright's monogram: FLLW. That is an undeniable piece of synchronicity.

and a correction. Several posts above I mention a 46ft beam in the ceiling extending from the southern end of the fireplace in Mrs K's room to the east wall of the guest room. That beam is 36ft clear span. You can see it's line in the drawing directly above. It corresponds to the parapet of the third level.

... and I think there is a second beam north of this beam extending from the north end of the chimney mass 36ft eastward and bearing upon the stone pier, on the east side of the stair hall, directly in it's line. The north wall of Mrs K's Bedroom is in line with this beam. Cannot confirm this yet. I can't make sense of why it would be there but it shows up in drawings.
... well, if there is a beam there it;s not only taking the load of the third floor but also part of the third floor roof through the steel columns of the gallery.
Last edited by Tom on Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:09 am, edited 8 times in total.

SDR
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by SDR »

Why are you confident that the Avery has sent you everything they have on Fallingwater ? One wonders what Silman had to go on, and what they drew for themselves as well.

The coincidence of Wright's initials being found in the name Fallingwater is no doubt just that---but it is memorable, once recognized . . .

S

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

Good point.
I'm too gullible and trusting.

I don't think it's mere coincidence. But I've probably read too much Jung and Freud.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar - sure. Yet sometimes subconcious forces are at play.

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

BTW,
In what EKjr. calls the earliest surviving sketch of Fallingwater - presumably what he famously dashed off for EKsr - Wright has drawn in locations for the embedded mullions that tie together the main level balcony and the second level balcony.
These were not an after thought. It's telling of the comprehensive nature of Wright.

SDR
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by SDR »

Tom again: The the third level.

Dashed dark graphite lines are 36 ft clear span beams in floor of 3rd level (T between 2 & 5 and B-1 between 2 & 5). An error occurs in the drawing as the beam at T should be aligned with the exposed stone wall of the exterior to the east.
Dashed blue lines indicate the 3rd level roof line. The ceiling height is uniform across the gallery and into the bedroom, but drops down over the fireplace and EKjr's desk.
The planting box on the terrace is a clerestory to the guest bathroom below - the only room in the entire house not to have glass on at least one of the four walls.
Now it's time to start on the sections.

Image

Second level:
Image

SDR
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by SDR »

Tom's second-level sections. Notes:

Section GG
A: 3 - 3/4" dia. rods continuous from bearing in chimney mass to south parapet approx. 36ft.
B: 4 - 1" square rods continuous from B/4 of 2nd level plan to south parapet approx. 46 ft.
C: 1 - 3/4" dia rod top and bottom of beam
D: Flower Box Beams with 5 - 1" square rods hooked at each end continuous from north end of flower box to south parapet of east terrace as shown in section EE.


Image

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

There is an error in my notes.
Should read:

Section GG
A: 3 - 1" dia. rods ...

SDR
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by SDR »

Was post-tensioning in use anywhere, in 1936 ?

S

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