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You are correct that there are various components of a Wright design that can indeed be built today. But, you see, the "little" changes to comply with todays codes eventually change the structure from a Wright design to a "Wrightian, Wright Styled, Influenced by," etc....some things that come to mind are the lightweight sandwich wall system, and overhead clearance. It would be an interesting study to see what a building plan checker would do with a set of drawings containing 5 or 6 sheets, which was typical of the usonians. Plan check comments would be as thick as War and Peace. Anyway, I am very inetested in seeing how a specific jurisdiction explains its lack of requirements of inspections and permits.
Interesting stuff, indeed.
As always, I value your comments. However, unconventional buildings as Fallingwater can be successfully built today since they are located in very isolated places such as Stewart Township in Fayette County where there is absolutely no code for residential properties. This is true in other remote places in the U.S. as well. One does not need an architect
RJH wrote:.... However, unconventional buildings as Fallingwater can be successfully built today since they are located in very isolated places such as Stewart Township in Fayette County where there is absolutely no code for residential properties. This is true in other remote places in the U.S. as well. One does not need an architect
1. Great professional and personal skills, including being a pseudo only child.
2. He was in the right place at the right time. Chicago was a great booming city that presented opportunities for architectural innovation.
3. He had the great fortune of working for Louis Sullivan who saw the shortcomings of the ubiquitous classicism that was enormously popular. Louis Sullivan in turn was fortunate to have been exposed to Frank Furness in Philadelphia who broke all of the rules of his day and created great unique buildings.
4. The Japanese pavilion was built at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago and Japonisme was popular in some Western circles.
Today there are certainly physicists as bright as Albert Einstein. Einstein achieved his stature because he had great professional and personal skills AND he was in the right place at the right time AND his wife had some fine ideas that he could build upon. So it was with Frank Lloyd Wright.
1. No building permit required outside of city/town limits.
2. Electrical permit required, therefore conformance to NEC, if you want to connect to power grid.
3. Septic permit required.
4. Water well permit required.
I am bemused by the apparent default position of some that a professional license and/or a piece of paper (building permit) in hand is some sort of talisman which will ward off the bad building spirits. These will no more guarantee a good or even safe result, than my getting a drivers license means that I can really drive. Tilt the odds in one's favor perhaps, guarantee no. I found that following the code by rote can lull one into a false comfort zone that can impede real thought about a particular issue.
As to the yahoos with hammer and nails. Yes, I've run into way too many, in different parts of the country. I've also run into more than a few licensed architect yahoos too. Again the piece of paper is no guarantee of quality or even competence. Due diligence is always required when hiring anyone to do anything and even then keep your fingers crossed.
Yes, this thread has strayed from it's original point. If the new Wright is out there, I guess he better get started on the self promotion that the original was so good at.
What IS a Wright building, other than one designed by Wright ? What are the things that make it special ?
1. An intimate relationship with nature in general and site in particular.
2. An underlying planning grid (module) and vertical unit system to provide a rational system within which the specific design can be developed.
3. Use of "natural" materals. Wood, stone, brick, concrete, copper, even CorTen steel as it's patination process is in keeping with the Organic idea. These materials would be used throughout; no artifical division of in and out.
4.Spaces tailored to a quality not quantity lifestyle. The "small jewel" over the "hey, look at everthing I've got" philosophy.
As to the specific look, I see no reason to throw out the well known architectural devices that Wright developed over a lifetime in an effort to be different for the sake of being different. Some examples of these are the corner window, the cantilever, the carport, the hearth as the focus of the living space, burrowing into a slope or extending from it by
use of an elevated terrace, extensive banks of doors or operable windows to bring the outside in and others to numerous to mention. If new ideas to accomplish the same ends are included, so much the better.
Lastly, the intangibles. The items that almost always separate the Master from the followers. The things owners mention when they say they are constantly discovering new things in their Wright house's. Light from unexpected sources, both natural and artificial; integral ornament, be it the fretwork clerestories or pierced concrete units and the light patterns they form as the sun or moon moves; the spaces that look odd on a plan yet somehow work in 3D.
Well, how can one define genius? Guess I'll know it when I see it and I haven't seen it yet.
Now; how about longevity ? Will we have to give this guy (or gal) sixty or seventy years to see if it's not just a flash in the pan ?
Any number of architects have perhaps reached a zenith in their work, early or late, when inspiration and opportunity met at the right time; few seem to get an early enough start and achieve a long enough drive to have two or three separate periods of genius in their working career !
I agree that there's no reason not to build upon the strong foundation of Wright's aesthetic moves -- and to solve the several problems he wasn't ready or able to, such as erratic building technology or unresolved wood cladding issues, to name two. The strengths so far outpace the weaknesses that it feels like a cheap shot to even mention them.
His chief contribution may well be the example that his designs have provided to three generations (and counting) of architects. Again and again we find our best-known practitioners mentioning his name when asked about their influences. I believe a count of such references would place Wright's name way ahead of the second and third-place entrants, in such a contest.
What (modernist) architect, in love with space and materials, site and light -- with the architectural problem as a whole -- wouldn't recognize their master in The Old Man ?