Alternatives to fireplace as psychological center of home

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peterm
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Post by peterm »

classic form- You have shown what I was trying to express in my previous post when I happened to mention Nelson. You are integrating the tv into a storage unit, neither hiding it, nor making a big deal of it.

How cool is that, to live in a Nelson/ Chaddwick house? Very rare indeed.
How many houses did Nelson design?

Anyway, it looks fantastic and your decor and taste are impeccable!

classic form
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Post by classic form »

Thank You, When I saw you mention Nelson I thought "finally I can contribute something"...:)

Not sure how many houses were done exactly but I would have to guess around 15-20 or so.

peterm
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Post by peterm »

I realize this is again off the thread, but may I ask you a couple of questions about your house?
Are the slate floors original? I notice terrazzo floors in the vintage photo...
Is the Saarinen-esque fireplace original? And the paint colors?
It appears that the curtain is on a track which runs through the living room, dividing it from what?
The sofa, is it a prototype for the later mass produced Chadwick sofas?

Wrighter, that was some exhaustive research on your part. Bravo!

I think your conclusion is on target. The fire is a part of the space but not the focal point. In fact, isn't Wright really a cubist in the sense that there are multiple perspectives happening simultaneously and it becomes a question of the choreography within the space; how the space is being perceived and used at a particular moment?

PNB
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Post by PNB »

This is one of the more interesting threads recently. I've always thought of the kitchen and the garden as the souls of the home. As for the TV I think Susanka is on to something with her away room. A house needs at least two sitting areas - one to visit with friends and family, read, listen to music and a room for TV. Much more important features than the huge master baths and silly oversized sleeping rooms in vogue today.

classic form
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Location: Kalamazoo, Mich.

Post by classic form »

The slate is original. The terrazzo you see is not terrazzo...it's vct, we installed new when the old was damaged by carpeting from the previous owners.

Fireplace is orginal, steel with a coating of vermiculite. Paint colors: door not original, wall behind steelframe drawer is orignal color, kitchen drawers original color.

Furniture in the living room (sofas, matching chair, tables, lamps) are original to the house.

Curtain divides the living room from the two story open area shared with the master bedroom above...

Image


The sofa was never massed produced, it is now in a private collection 1 hour from the house, not for sale. Are you thinking of the Don Chadwick sofa? (not to be confused with Gordon Chadwick:)

peterm
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Post by peterm »

Interesting that two Chadwicks would both design circular sofas? What are the odds of that? Or is the sofa a Nelson piece?

You scored...

classic form
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Post by classic form »

The interiors were done by the Nelson office, the prints just say George Nelson and Company. I have original correspondence from Nelson to the clients discussing the custom sofa and bed during the early stages of house talk but can't determine where the design came from exactly. It is very close in design to some of the later furniture from the office but nothing exact.

I agree, I think we scored on the house, but, the sofa and bed were sold off before we purchased the place. One reason I get so upset when I see Wright pieces seperated from home.

Not sure how the free standing fireplace fits into this discussion...can a freestanding fireplace be considered the heart of the home or would it be more like the spleen?

peterm
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Post by peterm »

Maybe a "Pacemaker"... In fact, that sounds oh so 1958, doesn't it?

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thanks for the extensive review of individual examples in Wright, Wrighter.

I believe that what we learn from that is that Wright was willing to situate the fireplace in a variety of positions relative to the rest of the features of
the "public" spaces in these (and the many other) Usonian-era homes. And that raises for me the issue of what the architect was working toward,
in my belief: endless variety of form, in buildings which manage to satisfy the needs of their occupants but which, really, are important to the
architect for artistic reasons. After, all, if three or four -- or six. or seven ? -- distinct spacial arrangement s could have satisfied all the
requirements of a typical family, in any one of the varieties of site conditions encountered -- in the same way that, it is claimed, there are
really only seven distinctly different mystery novel plots -- then why was it necessary for Wright to reinvent the wheel over and over again,
producing almost every time a unique and fresh residential composition ? I claim that it was for the sheer pleasure that this creation brought him.

A necessary consequence of this fact, if it is so, is that an ideal arrangement between entrance, kitchen,dining, living, and bed rooms,
once achieved, must necessarily be discarded in favor of something fresh and different, for the next client. And it cannot be argued that, in each
design, an ideal arrangement could be achieved; some designs will favor one set of adjacent spaces and their functions, while in others a
different pair (or trio) will be treated as vital -- as an unavoidable matter of course.


Jeff, maybe you should take a page from Wright's book, and rearrange your parents' furniture while they are away -- or asleep ?

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

dkottum wrote: " Create another space in the house for this purpose? " speaking about the TV.

While I agree with everything else in that post (previous page), it must be said that many houses, including most (?) Usonians and also the smaller
houses that S Susanka defends, have only one space and set of seating furniture that would suit both the fire and a TV -- requiring the designer to
find a way to accommodate both functions in a single room.

SDR

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

HAHA SDR They know if I rearrange it. I moved the Red Sofa out of the way to do something quick and yep they noticed. There is no way around it unless I can convince the Anti Feng Shui plan they have now and fix it to be better. Ah just realized something that could work to bring back the original plan that we had there before. Finally my Fireplace once again can be seen by all and no more fire hazard polyester sofa in front of it.

A fireplace shall be viewed by all and nothing obstructing it. You could always put a bench there in front of it and make it work.
JAT
Jeff T

peterm
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Post by peterm »

Ok- It seems that there is a growing consensus that the effect which a fireplace has on us is something so profound, that it can not really be replicated by another substitute.

If this then is true, until the time arrives when it has become illegal to use a wood burning fireplace, what are our options in regards to existing fireplaces for increasing the efficiency in terms of heat, and also lowering emissions?Someone earlier mentioned catalytic converters...

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

natural gas with return heat hood. It works well, too well.
JAT
Jeff T

peterm
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Post by peterm »

For woodburning fireplaces...

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

out fit it with natural gas or something better.
JAT
Jeff T

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