House on the Mesa

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Tom
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by Tom »

I think that's a good insight.

Interesting to me that the Richard Lloyd Jones House was presented at the International Exhibit.
I was surprised to see it on the walls in the photographs.

JimM
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by JimM »

The primary (and SDR's secondary?)cantilevers appear to support a load encompassing the entire pool footprint. Even if they were only supporting their own weight, both are the reverse of "Cantilevers 101" ratio: 2/3 embedment to 1/3 exposed. Regardless of material, the beam lengths surpass those of Fallingwater exhibiting a basic engineering tenant that, in the end, it's all about connections. Since none of the beams continue to the interior, what would be occurring within those piers (or any other point of support available) is a fascinating thought. I'm inclined to assume braced cantilevers of steel in this instance... theoretically, mega-straps might straddle the beams and piers to the foundation! I don't really see much structural value for the secondary "finned" beams (except aesthetics and perhaps adding stiffness), since all loads could be transferred to the piers.
Last edited by JimM on Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SDR
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by SDR »

Agreed. Unlike Wright's unlikely primary cantilever, the secondary beams I hypothesize, while almost ridiculously long relative to their section, do act as traditional cantilevers by virtue of being tied at their (distant) inboard ends, with the secondary piers acting as the fulcrum. Perhaps those very long beams could be tall enough "fins" to actually carry some weight---their own, and a portion of the sunshade's as well ? The dead-flat and featureless ceiling in Wright's interior perspective needs something---as I think Tom suggested earlier.

As Roderick so elegantly suggests, this project was perhaps more puffery than practicality . . .?

I have only a seat-of-the-pants grasp of structure. But I rely on the common sense of the lever in my imaginary calculation: the longer the lever, the less force is required to wield it. Thus, I am offended by the au courant bicycle disc brake, which I take to be a fad rather than a practical advantage. If the radius of the wheel is a lever, wouldn't it require a great deal more force to brake it by friction only 3" from the hub (using complex hydraulics) rather than from 13", employing a simple and time-tested mechanical device ?

S

Tom
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by Tom »

Regarding the featureless ceiling I guess we have to say it's a international feature.

Appreciate the analysis of the lever as the spoke of a wheel.
You are exactly right of course.

Tom
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by Tom »

I'm not claiming any direct connction by this but it is interesting to note the very general similarity between the living room pavilion of the Mesa House and the IIT College of Architecture in Chicago many decades later.
Both structures place double beams on top and incorporate them into the image of the design.
With Wright they dissapear however. You've got to be on the distant north side before they appear above the roof, or else you've got to be hovering over it like a bird in the color rendering, but the idea is there nevertheless.
I wonder where else during this time double beams above the roof have been used?

Roderick Grant
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by Roderick Grant »

Tom, either FLW anticipated drones, or the image must, like the Nazca colibri Hummingbird of Peru, be a signal indicating the way to ET landing sites.

Tom
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by Tom »

I think Wright did anticipate drones!
Those auto piloted saucer copters ya know.

Rood
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by Rood »

Tom wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:46 am
I'm not claiming any direct connction by this but it is interesting to note the very general similarity between the living room pavilion of the Mesa House and the IIT College of Architecture in Chicago many decades later.
Both structures place double beams on top and incorporate them into the image of the design.
With Wright they dissapear however. You've got to be on the distant north side before they appear above the roof, or else you've got to be hovering over it like a bird in the color rendering, but the idea is there nevertheless.
I wonder where else during this time double beams above the roof have been used?
The following link discusses the renovation of Crown Hall at ITT, the structural aspects of which are more than interesting. What I found fascinating is that maintenance to the steel supporting structure was lacking to the point that the steel supports were rusting (they had gone 25 years without coats of fresh paint), and that the original building contained no insulation of any kind ... not in walls, floors, ceiling, or roof.

Note: To read the report ... click on the Plus sign (+) several times. It's found at the bottom left of the page.

Was provision for insulation included in the design for the House on the Mesa? I wonder.

https://continuingeducation.bnpmedia.co ... ?C=317&L=5

SDR
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by SDR »

I enjoyed that article, Rood. Would that every Wright structure were restored with that much care ! We know of a number which have been . . . through the good work of preservation specialists we have met here at Wright Chat.

S

Tom
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by Tom »

Yep thanks for posting the link.

Wonder when Seagrams will renovate.
I think I remember reading somewhere it's one of the least energy efficient buildings in NYC.
Still all 1/4" glass panes.
... I think it also holds the record for being the most expensive modern building ever built per unit cost.
Evidently all that solid cast bronze adds up.

(I did not remember that Crown Hall had four of those beams.)

SDR
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by SDR »

I was interested to read that Mies insisted on using stock sections rather than specially-made ones. I suppose that's the impression one gets from his work---but I didn't know it was the invariable practice.

And I never had the skinny on the kinds of glass he used in the building. I've always thought the blinds looked like rather ordinary venetians; maybe they were ? It's one thing not discussed in the article. Maybe there was nothing better, for that application ? Were they special enough to be restored rather than replaced---or is this a matter of "original fabric" again . . .

Wouldn't he have liked the tapeless venetian blinds when they came along . . .

S

Tom
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by Tom »

Appreciate having attention called to the blinds.
Didn't see until you pointed it out that the original blinds were "taped."
I do remember as a young person thinking the tapeless blinds were so cool.
Most of the Mies that I've seen had tapeless Levelor blinds installed.

BTW - I requested the Mesa House file from Avery and got it back yesterday. Forty four images in all. I was hoping to see some detail development beyond what we've already got, but it does not exist in this file.
There are only design development plans, sections, elevations, exterior perspectives and two livingroom interior prescpectives that everybody has already seen.
... also Wright includes this house in The Living City. He writes about it there and includes perspective drawings and plans.
Surprised me to see it so prominently in his last book (that was his last book wasn't it?).

Reidy
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by Reidy »

Last book might have been A Testament.

SDR
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by SDR »

"A Testament" © 1957; "The Living City" © 1958---both published by Horizon Press. A portion of the latter "was published under the title When Democracy Builds, copyright 1945," according to a note in the book.

S

Roderick Grant
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Re: House on the Mesa

Post by Roderick Grant »

I hate blinds, Levolor or any other type, with tape or without. I recall thousands of years ago sitting on the floor of the living room in the late afternoon, looking at beams of the setting sun streaming in between the 2"-wide wood slats, dust floating about. It was so depressing. It has always been my least favorite time of day. Blinds and wallpaper: two things you would never find in any interior I had control over. Although I like plantation blinds, white ones to boot. Go figure?

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