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There aren't many photos of the Fuller house other than those in Storrer's books or in the Monograph volume 1951-1959. From what I have read, the construction materials and details were very similar to the Raymond Carlson house. I'm not sure of the colors...from the black and white pics I've seen, it appears as if the posts and beams are painted or stained darker than the cemesto or transite panels as at the Carlson house, though I doubt Wright would have used turquoise paint in the Mississippi swamps. The masonry is concrete block which may or may not have been painted.
I checked the Monograph 1951-1959 last night. The Fuller house is not illustrated with photos. There is a perspective drawing from approximately the angle of Storrer's overall photo, a sheet with the floor plans, and a sheet with the elevations. From the standpoint of making a computer model, it might be worth tracking down a copy of the Monograph at a library for the plans and elevations.
Best of luck...please post your sketch-up of the house, it is truly a design in need of study.
http://web.mac.com/jeffthielemier18/www ... os.html#13
http://web.mac.com/jeffthielemier18/www ... os.html#14
http://web.mac.com/jeffthielemier18/www ... os.html#15
I will do the house tomorrow but will not upload it If anyone wants to see it I can send it to you and I will post photos on my website of the house. I will not do it accurately but instead will make the shell but will do the interior all by my own standards. That is probably what Wright would want is not to copy his work but make it your own based on his principals.
presentation of historic structures, where some of the information is based on accurate measurement and observation and the rest is the presenter's
invention. I can't think that Wright or anyone else would welcome a false presentation of his work, with his name attached. This serves no one, it
seems to me -- even if the hybrid aspect is made clear in writing, as you have done. People rely on pictures to build their own understanding of
I can well understand the impetus to move ahead -- drawing is fun, and creating a computer "model" is almost addictively fascinating, I'm sure.
But if in the headlong rush to manipulate digits we forget that we are representing Mr Wright's work in an inauthentic manner, we risk passing
on to others less fortunate than we (in terms of familiarity with this work) misinformation about the architecture, which can then become embedded
in the culture -- just as our unintentional misuse of the language can have a ripple effect in the degradation of a shared heritage and common tool.
I note that one of your Usonian designs has a paper-thin roof, for instance. Is this an accurate and faithful rendering of Wright's (or any
other architect's) work -- if that's what it was intended to be ?
be set aside. The actual lengths, widths, heights and thicknesses of elements, and the whole, are the only way to correctly portray the
architect's work in its true proportion -- and the only hope for it to "look right," as a result. This you know. I would hope that all persons
contributing models -- of houses and furniture -- to the Internet would observe this standard. Detail can always be added, but if an object starts
out "out of scale" the meaning of the work is lost at the start, never to be corrected (in that model). If others are populating their virtual worlds
with these models, we owe it to everyone that they be true. At least it seems that way to me.
Unfortunately, measurable drawings are not easy to come by. Storrer has provided scaled plan drawings of Wright's work -- but without
elevations or sections, a measured model is impossible. The Monographs are the only other available source of these measurements -- and, in
addition to the rarity and expense of these volumes, the drawings presented are not generally labeled to let the student know which plans
and elevations are final, as-built versions of a design. Nor are they reproduced at any easily-measured scale. So the drafter of models like
yours faces quite a challenge to get them "Wright" -- as you have discovered, I'm sure.
Drawings and photographs seldom "look like" the objects they depict, for a variety of reasons: true color and texture can only be approximated;
the optical laws that affect perspective compromise the ability to show a true view; and time and other variables affect the lighting of spaces,
which can radically alter their "mood." It has been said that, contrary to the standard clichÃ© "photographs don't lie," the truth is that photographs
always lie. So it is no wonder that we are frustrated when even a dimensionally accurate drawing fails to give the impression that we hoped
for. It is the job of the illustrator -- in any medium -- to learn what can be done to improve his work in this regard. As you suggest, SketchUp is
relatively limited in tools that would help you deal with some of the subtleties of your art. At the same time, it has one feature, of course, that
is a tremendous aid to understanding how perspective works, and that is the ability of the artist to rotate the model.
In the end, the illustrator trades any idea of actual fidelity to the original subject, for a set of effects that substitute a desirable image -- ideally,
one that expresses what the designer was trying to say. And, whatever else the illustrator is able to accomplish, the starting point for that image
had better be a dimensionally accurate construction -- or he's sunk from the start.