Turkel House Has Been Sold

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Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

I suppose the "Dorothy" and "Wizard" bit was just too obvious to pass up, but the writer didn't follow through convincingly. The fact of the Usonian Automatics is that Turkel is the only one built that is in bad shape, and that's due mostly to deferred or improper maintenance (Adelman has been grossly abused in a different way). The real problem with the system, as I see it, is never addressed: The relentless grid of windows creates a cage-like feeling that is uncomfortably confining in Turkel, Kalil and, to a lesser extent, Adelman. Tracey, Pappas and Tonkens overcome this with large glass doors interupting the grid, reducing the 1' x 2' perforated blocks to background texture. As large as the Turkel living room is, I felt trapped. I suspect that feeling would be even more intense in the tiny Kalil House. But perhaps that's just me. Tracey, as tiny as Kalil, is a joy.

Daniel Dominique Watts
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:20 pm
Location: Lemont, IL

In Realm Of Ideas Automatic traveling home

Post by Daniel Dominique Watts »

To memory in speaking to Susan Jacobs Lockhart before she left Taliesin West & got remarried , during the late 1990's or early 2001 time period she spoke to me about it when I asked if it could possibly be PERMANENTLY built at Taliesin West as a B&B during nights & used as a center for meetings with companies by day. Susan said at the time they were thinking about doing something out there.....but to my knowledge still no B&B to help raise needed cash for preservations....nor to increase interest in sleeping over at Taliesin or a FLLW designed Usonian home. Many people would pay the similar $300-400/night as local Hotel rooms just for the opportunity. At least they took my nighttime fireside chat idea with night tours of desert.

The "traveling usonian automatic home" final resting location as Susan seemed to suggest is at Taliesin West. It is possible it's in pieces or even possibly now destroyed, however as I'm not sure where at Taliesin there would be enough room in any building to store it.

I as well as many others writing here saw the home when it was here in Chicago in 1985. I have 2 brochures from the show which show the same view drawn on cover fold-out as the photo showing living room on left and bedroom wing to right.

I also was very excited about the plan as it showed what Wright drew with color as perspective for the similar block /open block cap wall on patio for a usonian home and the plan similar to other usonian automatic plans but I really liked the layout of library area with dining next to kitchen. I think a small balcony above that area could also be done for an office type area/library which could have a small staircase access to it from the far left side end wall without taking away from the plan or possibly behind or between the long fireplace wall access to steps from living room and open thru kitchen up to small balcony with block wall only 3 courses or so high with overhang trellis of same open block concrete blocks for a light shelf. Could also put plants into some of the open blocks onto the overhang/light shelf.

That exhibit plan /built version however really intrigued me beyond what I thought it really would. I think the detail being so little yet ususual on the blocks not unlike Turkel home & others really works well. The small block wall with open glass shelves/glass panel between the sets of patio doors also has always been a personal favorite of mine. It adds alot of mystic to the homes especially at night & also by day with sunlight thru colored glass held on the glass shelves held between the glass backed open concrete block stacks. Gets my juices flowing as it is so different from what most homes look like and feel like in day & at night.

Daniel Dominique Watts
email: dwatts62@yahoo.com
Last edited by Daniel Dominique Watts on Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I saw and photographed the traveling exhibit house in Marin. I'd be surprised to be told that the house would survive a wet winter outdoors, or even that it was made to be watertight. But I agree strongly that one or more Usonian homes could and should be built on Taliesin property . . .

Do we have a plan of the exhibit house ? Is it identical to any of the extant Automatics, or even ones like the unbuilt Gerald Sussman design ?

SDR

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Sussman:

Image

The plan indicates a screened terrace, not shown in the rendered view . . .

Image

images © 2009 by TASCHEN GmbH and by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

SDR

Macrodex
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Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:11 pm

Post by Macrodex »

I know it's not in Taschen; can anyone upload the Turkel perspective?

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I haven't seen a rendered view; lots of photos are available online. Here's the Turkel plan.

None of the built Automatics has a plan echoing Sussman and the exhibit house. Kalil is closer than the others . . .


Image

Plan drawings © William Allin Storrer

Rood
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Re: In Realm Of Ideas Automatic traveling home

Post by Rood »

Daniel Dominique Watts wrote:
" ... I think (the) small balcony above the (Sussman dining) area could also be done for an office type area/library, which could have a small staircase access ... from the far left side end wall without taking away from the plan, or, possibly from behind or between the long fireplace wall (with) access ... from the living room ... . Daniel Dominique Watts email: dwatts62@yahoo.com
The lack of a stairway to the loft demonstrates how quickly some preliminary designs were tossed out I didn't notice or question the absence until I visited the model ... and I'll bet I'm just about the only person who climbed the rope ladder to see the view. After experiencing the openness of the living room, it proved to be an incredibly intimate space.

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

Post by SDR »

http://www.steinerag.com/flw/Books/Realm.htm

http://www.steinerag.com/flw/Artifact%2 ... onAuto.htm

Image

. . . . . . . . . Image © Copyright 2001, 2014 The Wright Library

I don't see indication of a stair to the balcony . . .

SDR

Rood
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Post by Rood »

SDR wrote:
I don't see indication of a stair to the balcony . . .SDR
That's the point. Provision was never made for one, so someone cut a hole in the balcony floor, next to the back wall of the model, and hung a rope ladder down to the dining room floor.

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

Post by SDR »

Paul Ringstrom has found an unbuilt Usonian Automatic design with plan and view, also from 1955.

http://www.steinerag.com/flw/Artifact%2 ... #Floorplan

The Taschen III entry for Mel Blumberg states that only a blank plan outline exists for this house -- so The Wright Library scores a coup. Perhaps the plan
and view drawings went to the Blumbergs and were not retrieved by Taliesin ?

The plan shows a half-story level change between the two square plan elements; we don't have elevation drawings and the view pretty effectively
hides this aspect of the design. I would assume that one half-flight goes up while the other goes down -- to a second bedroom level ? Does the relevant
Monograph contain this commission ?

This page shows yet another unbuilt Automatic with a square plan:

http://savewright.org/wright_chat/viewtopic.php?t=2991

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

The Blumberg lot rises toward the north, so both stairs go up to the same bedroom level. The roof is a single slab over bedrooms and entry/living/workspace, so the bedrooms have a 3' lower ceiling height than the rest of the house.

The other Automatics were designed for the Fallingwater property as guest houses.

The Sussman drawing in Mono 8/201 is rough. If there was to be a balcony overlooking the living room, a stair would have been worked into the plan, but the scheme had obviously not been developed that far when the commission was terminated. The ITROI model was too literal. In addition to that error, alterations for the model were made to accommodate sponsers' utilities, like the bathroom fixtures by Kohler.

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

Post by SDR »

Perhaps the balcony was only a device to lower the ceiling over the dining space -- a light deck, if you will, with no other function. Is the ceiling high
enough that a person could stand on that surface ?

Question answered: The ceiling rises four units over the dining/loft area:

Image

Image

images courtesy The Wright Library

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