MI Builder's FLLW-style Energy-Efficient & Healthy House

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EJ
Posts: 239
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:24 pm

Post by EJ »

This article was a bit underwhelming...although I like the concept of the house as it was described. I find these "Wright derivatives" very interesting, as I live in one.
"It all goes to show the danger of entrusting anything spiritual to the clergy" - FLLW, on the Chicago Theological Seminary's plans to tear down the Robie House in 1957

PNB
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:12 am

Post by PNB »

This is the kind of article that makes me sick. The builder brags about energy efficiency and using resources wisely yet the home is almost 5000 square feet - give me a break. Just as people try to claim FLLW inspired to market their house incorrectly the same is being done with "green" architecture. Just another example of a builder using a few catchphrases without any real knowledge of what he's talking about.

Ed Jarolin
Posts: 277
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: Wyoming

Post by Ed Jarolin »

Good point PNB! I'd love to see a floor plan of this thing, if only to

find out how almost 3000 s.f. were squandered on what is essentially

a 2 bedroom house. Why one would need 3 bathrooms for an empty

nester market is also beyond my comprehension. Guess they're there

to give the maid something to do.

It's painfully obvious this pig is no Goetsch-Winkler or Marshall Erdman

for that matter. Frankly, I think this culture (and I use the term very

loosely) has gone totally nuts. Another great pity is that this stuff will

last 100 years, not that I view this as any big deal. Go to the inner core

of any eastern or mid-western city and you'll see plenty of housing well

over the century mark.

JimM
Posts: 1509
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

Good marketing; bad architecture. 3' doors? 5' halls? No slip floors?



Sounds like a hospital, intended for well off boomers ($700k!) who want to "downsize" in "style" without guilt, since it is "green" after all.



This guy probably designed tour buses.

A Wright Homeowner
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:19 pm

In all fairness...

Post by A Wright Homeowner »

One of the goals of the home was to be wheelchair-friendly. Wider doorways and greater spaces may be necessary for a wheelchair-bound person to easily access to bathroom, kitchen and closet spaces. Would Wright have done it differently if hired by a client in a wheelchair? Probably. But - discussion question, here - How?

RJH
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:33 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Contact:

Post by RJH »

This is how.



Mr. Laurent was/is a wheelchair when he came to Wright to design his house:



http://www.fllwrightslaurenthouse.com/index.htm



What house would you want?

SWSinDC
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:35 pm

Post by SWSinDC »

For your enjoyment, here's another article on a new FLLW-"inspired" house:



http://www.courant.com/features/home/hc ... ?track=rss



Though the extensive dimensions of "inspired" houses like this fuel the debate as to how true they are to FLLW's vision, it is at least heartening to know that Wright's architecture continues to inspire now 48 years after his death. (Plus, it's pretty to look at, right?)

Ed Jarolin
Posts: 277
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: Wyoming

north woodstock 'prairie house'

Post by Ed Jarolin »

Regarding the North Woodstock faux prairie house, I can only say

that it inspires mixed emotions in me.

Give these folks credit for having the sense to site the house away

from the street, toward the view, for privacy, etc. However, the

massive amount of fill brought in begs the question of exactly how

sensitive to the site they really are being.

I also wonder if the decision to do a prairie style house is really any

different than deciding to do a colonial: that is based on a superficial

'look'. Judging by the interior photos the space melding wood banding

and natural wood finishes (on the doors at least) of a true prairie style have been omitted.

One would have to see a plan to determine if this 'inspired' design is more than just skin deep.

Finally, I think there are important reasons Wright moved beyond the

prairie style, finally coming to the Usonian as the embodiment of the

true American culture. Wasn't the Usonian ideal a simplified life style

as much as an architectural 'look'? The elimination of the maid was

perhaps a symbolic as well as a practical act. Was the act of cleaning

(maintaining) as well as building one's dwelling a return to the pioneer

heritage of America. Is it just coincidence that many of the best Usonians

were owner built or had intense owner participation?

Then again, as a society, we certainly may be regressing. Perhaps the

colonial or some other style best represents our current state of affairs.

Comments anyone?

Ed Jarolin
Posts: 277
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: Wyoming

Post by Ed Jarolin »

Ran across this quote which tends to support my position.



"Simplification must take place. Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs must themselves

see life in somewhat simplified terms. We cannot have an organic

architecture unless we have an organic society."



FLlW, Architectural Forum, January 1938

PNB
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:12 am

Post by PNB »

Amen Ed - Although I've always loved the visual appeal of the Prairie House best and in fact was considering building one (see earlier post) but you can't live in a museum and I keep coming back to a desire for a simpler, efficent, well sited, home. The Usonian was certainly FLLW's more mature design style.

JimM
Posts: 1509
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Re: north woodstock 'prairie house'

Post by JimM »

Ed Jarolin wrote:Regarding the North Woodstock faux prairie house, I can only say that it inspires mixed emotions in me.....Comments anyone?


My first reaction-at first. We can often over analyze, but it may simply be that although revolutionary in their time, the Prairie idiom is more successfully conducive to imitation than Usonians-they look more like what the average person thinks a house "looks" like. That's why most of these "new prairies" don't pass the critical test of architecture and are an imitative style only, no matter how "nice" looking.



My opinion of them is grounded in the same reason Frank moved on-true art (architecture)does not safely rehash style or convention. With few exceptions Wright did this his entire career, and when he said Wingspread was the last Prairie house, I'm not about to argue with him!

Ed Jarolin
Posts: 277
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: Wyoming

Post by Ed Jarolin »

JimM wrote:



"true art (architecture) does not safely rehash style or convention."



I believe Wright put it this way, " great architecture can be no restatement".



I agree totally with your notion of the prairie houses looking more like

the average persons idea of what a house should look like. I can almost

hear some real estate agent's pitch: "you'll just love the genuine English

half-timber style cottage in my listings. Yes, it's only ___ years old and

inspired by a 19th century vicar's residence above the White Cliffs of

Dover". Prairie has become just another style to be packaged and sold.

If you doubt this, I have only to point you to Pella's line of 'prairie style'

windows. I concede it's more pleasing to my eye than the more

popular faux chateaux, faux Italian villa, faux Mexican hacienda, etc.

I'd take a community of fake prairie houses any day and shortly thereafter

be left hungry for substance not style, I'm sure.

Sarcasm button off. Sorry, I'm probably hopelessly mired in the past

myself. It's just that my past is the past of mid-century modern when

there actually seemed to be a chance this 'stuff' would catch on and

spread. I view Wright, in his final decade, as the greatest of the mid-

century modernist's, though I'm sure he would dismiss the association.

His Usonian's, at their best, are every bit as sleek and rational as the

other's while retaining that romanitic relationship with Nature that the

rest seldom reach.

All this being said, I'd love to see someone try what Wright never

quite managed, a large Usonian development. Need a bankroll? Try

Brad Pitt, I understand he's into architecture. I'll leave it to you, dear

reader, to decide if the sarcasm button is back on or not.

JimM
Posts: 1509
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

Ed Jarolin wrote:
His Usonian's, at their best, are every bit as sleek and rational as the

other's while retaining that romanitic relationship with Nature that the

rest seldom reach.


You have succinctly pointed out the critical and perrenial difference between Wright's work and other "modernist's".



Without the subtlety of genius, the only way to "let the outside in" is with sheets of glass.

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