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I guess the AEC post meant sustainable in the literate sense - still standing after 100 years?"
That post on the Wild Bird thread had me wondering: is there any building of Wright's that is unsung structurally? Wright is often criticized for leaking roofs, sagging cantilevers, ect. I guess I'm just wondering if any building stands out as "most sustainable" in anyone's mind??
At some Conservancy event I heard a followup story. Years after his death, the building needed repair, and some of the Taliesin elders wanted to add steel reinforcement. One of the opponents said something to the effect of "So the uncles won after all." This was sufficient to change the steel partisans' mind, and they repaired Wright's wooden structure as he had built it.
The exterior shingles were replaced with cypress board-and-batten in 1938. (Can you hear him telling one and all that this would "stiffen" the tower ?) Storrer tells us that Wright "tried, at one point, to save the windmill by pouring concrete into the structure halfway to its top" (!). The windmill survived for 95 years, and was demolished and replaced -- with the original stone base and wood roof -- in 1992.
Mr Wright sometimes behaved as if the laws of gravity, and the vagaries of weather, had no application to his work. "Truth Against the World" ?
http://blog.naver.com/PostView.nhn?blog ... listtype=0
Taliesin West Studio
http://news.preview.nationalgeographic. ... hoto8.html
Midway Gardens, whilst it had a very short life, I understand that it was so well built that was very difficult to demolish and sent the contractor broke.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peAF2_9s ... r_embedded
The restoration of Romeo and Juliet was covered in a FLLW Quarterly in the mid-'90's and Architecture magazine had an article about the restoration. As I recall the article in Architecture published line drawings of the tower as it existed before demolition. The trees hid how twisted the tower had become and how much it was leaning at the top. Apparently water leakage from the top had caused considerable rot in the framing. FLLW Quarterly was less inclined to go into great detail about the tower's vulnerability and neglect in its article than Architecture.
Still it is not bad considering the wind and weather to which it was subjected for 90-odd years.
SDR: I thought the diamond-plan Romeo was designed to act as a wind break and provide, at least in plan, diagonal bracing. Given the tower's twist and lean in its last years, I question if there was any diagonal bracing in elevation beneath the skin. I wonder if the 1938 board and batten siding was a late attempt to stiffen the tower, presuming the original sheathing was purlins and shingles over the timberframe. It is interesting to note Wes Peters was present in 1938...would the tower have failed sooner if action had not been taken in '38?
If I were trying to get a bunch of parallel boards (the siding) -- placed parallel to the frame members -- to provide for shear -- a wacky idea on the face of it -- I wouldn't settle for less than gluing their ends to the verticals of the structure -- and gluing them to each other, come to that. Then they could begin to act like a sheet of plywood at each panel location.
Filling the structure half-full of concrete ? Hmmm. . .
As I read it, the aversion to diagonals extended to those forced upon him by structural or functional necessity -- which is what makes the Hillside trusses so unusual. Only when he could use diagonals decoratively -- as in the perfs, and again in the Hillside studio -- did he allow them into his vocabulary, perhaps.
S D R
http://infranetlab.org/blog/wp-content/ ... e_jwax.jpg
Showing Mies a thing or two... Talk about glass curtain walls!
http://www.dailyicon.net/magazine/wp-co ... lyicon.jpg
In addition to buildings overseen by Wes, who was a gifted structural engineer, buildings worked on by John Geiger (Zimmerman, MM Smith-working drawings), Bob Beharka (Marden) and Curtis Besinger (Walker) were among the best built. Lovness, constructed stone by stone by Virginia, and board by board by Don, was also well-built.