Does any Wright structure stand out Structurally?

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
Wrightgeek
Posts: 1548
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:21 pm
Location: Westerville, Ohio

Post by Wrightgeek »

The first thing that comes to my mind is the Johnson Wax Admin. Building, and FLW's infamous demonstration of his engineering prowess with the dendriform/lilypad columns.

Beyond that, Fallingwater, Price Tower, and the Johnson Wax Research Tower occur next to me. Although all were not ultimately entirely successful (read Fallingwater), they were all nonetheless audacious excercises of built engineering.

SDR
Posts: 20303
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Here's the original poster's question: 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??


Sort of like "What's the best-built or sturdiest Wright structure ?"


S

JimM
Posts: 1578
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

...... and don't forget Larkin. Four story structural steel frame with reinforced concrete slab floors in sections 17' wide x 22' long x 12" thick.

The demolition contractor went bankrupt.

lang
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:19 am

Post by lang »

SDR: thank you for rephrasing my query, I was indeed asking for opinions on a " best built or sturdiest Wright structure".

SDR
Posts: 20303
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Too bad -- I have more fun pointing out the structural failings. This photo of the long-gone Como Orchards clubhouse (Darby, Montana; 1909) shows what
snow loads can to do an under-built frame roof with perhaps over-generous eaves. Talk about a "rolling landscape". . .

Image

Maybe poet Wright actually liked the romantic irregularities of profile that his inadequate framing produced. His illustrations -- such as this Wasmuth drawing
of a Como cabin -- sometimes show a bit of the peaked ridgeline that some Oriental work intentionally featured:

Image

Of course, this drawing (a favorite of mine) might be M Mahony's; she and Drummond are said to have supervised the Como project in Wright's absence.

S D R

KevinW
Posts: 1288
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:41 pm

Post by KevinW »

As tired as you might be with me shouting from the rooftops the greatness of the Fawcett design, I think this house must be mentioned in this thread. Buck, like many owners always proudly boasted of the quality of his home. Structurally, the floor slab is in beautiful condition, the overhangs show no deflection at all, the interior soffit decks seem to float. I find myself always checking the drawings to see just how it was done. No sticking doors, everything still true. Wood, other than some sun bleaching is in very good condition.
This is one well built house. I believe Wes Peters did the structural calcs for the house.
KevinW

SDR
Posts: 20303
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

My impression was of ample solidity. The heavy roof and deck thicknesses and the battered CMU walls
seem to further this feeling -- as do the freestanding 2x10 columns that stand off the central window wall
and clearly add to the support of that indoor/outdoor deck/roof. They can be seen in these two photos.

Image

Image


Storrer says that this window wall bears no weight, as "the ceiling and trellised soffit overhang are fully
cantilevered with steel I-beams." He mentions that John H Howe drew the plans and that Tom Casey
"also worked on plans as well as structural and mechanical engineering, areas in which he specialized in
more than 50 Wright projects." Storrer may have spoken with both Buck Fawcett and Mr Casey ?

Storrer calls out the "trim" as cedar. My impression was of mahogany.

S D R

KevinW
Posts: 1288
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:41 pm

Post by KevinW »

post removed
Last edited by KevinW on Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
KevinW

SDR
Posts: 20303
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

The entrance sequence is most unusual: after coming through the extra-wide pivoting glazed front door, one stands in the place where the first photo (above) was taken, looks up, and isn't sure if one is still outside -- or has perhaps overshot the interior and is already halfway into the rear garden. Most extraordinary -- something to do with the location of the clerestory, apparently. Then one moves forward and turns left, whereupon one sees that the living room (so called), with its cozy built-in seat and oversized fireplace, is right there . . .

S D R

Post Reply