Sweeton Window Wall and Roof Resto/Rehabilitation

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Mod mom
Posts: 389
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:00 am

Post by Mod mom »

Nice! Cor-ten steel patinas so beautifully.

We will be needing to hide a whole house generator. Although not on our to-do list yet, since visitors will pass it while traveling along the walkway,( near where the gas meter is), it will be definitely need screening. I had hoped that it could be hidden below the planter off the point room on our ravine side, but the fact that it weighs over 700 lbs nixed that idea.

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

This is something few home owners seem to pay enough attention to, concealing unattractive though essential protuberances and contraptions. My brother was so upset by all the necessaries cluttering up the walls of his house that he went to the extreme of relocating the light switches in out-of-the-way places. That may be over the top.

Rood
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Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Post by Rood »

DRN wrote: As part of the finishing touches on the project, I designed a series of equipment screens to blend the air conditioning compressor units with the house. The screens are made of Cor-Ten steel sheet which will gradually patina from grey to a warm brown over the next year or two. The battered profile allows warm air passage through 1" gaps and the "coursing" of the screen recalls the block coursing and the striation of the roof. A screen at the north wall of the living room is being fabricated as well.
A neat and clever solution to an always vexing problem. Curious, though. Did you ever consider using blocks to emulate the look of blocks in the house walls?

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Blocks -- unless painted quite differently from the house color -- might have been mistaken for Wright's work ?


I once proposed to an online "client" a louvered screen to conceal an HVAC unit located at the left of this street facade. A bit much ?

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The house is built of terra-cotta colored block with radiused corners, and steel sash. I took the liberty of enlarging its chimney while I was at it . . .

SDR

DRN
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

Wright designed low block walls at the front porch and adjacent to the basement stair seen in one of the pics posted above, but I didn't consider them for the HVAC screens for very long. To get good air flow, I'd either need to do an alien open design, or hold a solid wall a greater distance out from the unit. The result seemed to be either too fussy or too big, and the need for frost foundations finished it. I considered painted or stained wood in the current configuration, but saw it as adding more maintenance to my plate. Seeing Will Bruder's and Rick Joy's use of Cor-Ten last year in Arizona nudged me to reconsider material.

DRN
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

Our carpenters are back to install the until now unbuilt Wright designed insect screens for the house:

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Screen stretching is done onsite and the finished product is then hung. The wood screen frames were made in the shop during the winter, and I just got the copper screen a couple of weeks ago.

The Sweetons couldn't afford Wright's screens when the house was first built, and deleted them in favor of tacking up muslin at open windows. The previous owner had some wood screens made, but they were not per Wright's design and mounted directly to the redwood trim which didn't allow them to close flat against the closed sashes and their hardware...in the gallery, hardware store aluminum screens were clipped into the trim.

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Wright's design involved a secondary trim to be applied over the existing trim at the operable sash to hold the screen. The supporting trim was installed last Fall.

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The finished result adds depth to the operable units which creates an ABAB rhythm as one looks at a band of windows.

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Light reflecting off the metal screen has an interesting effect, causing Christine to note that the living room seems a little more enclosed at night.

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

Did you treat the screening with anything? What color will they become?

DRN
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

The mesh is untreated copper wire (#16 mesh). It will behave much like a penny: the luster will gradually fade and the mesh will take on a light brown color. We installed screens in the kitchen, the 1st bedroom, and the workshop as they were completed about 3 years ago. The workshop and bedroom screens have mellowed a little but are still quite shiny; the kitchen screen being adjacent to the sink has mellowed to a greater extent, but still retains a noticeable reflective quality.

dtc
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:04 am

Post by dtc »

Good work Dan.
I replaced one door screen and one casement screen
18 years ago, and only now are they drastically changing color
and looking more like the original screens installed in 1954.
They must have had a coating on them from the time they were manufactured.

You should feel good knowing that you will not need to replace any of these
screens except one that may accidentally be punctured by a visitor.

Enjoy!

DRN
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

The fireplace screen was delivered late last week. We decided on a freestanding design that would allow the screen to be removed and stored flat if desired, rather than a mesh curtain mounted to the hood. The freestanding option also allowed the screen to be set back from the hood edge allowing the cantilever "breathing room". The goal was to have the screen appear as light as possible.

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I detailed the large panel to pivot open to allow tending of the fire.

Mod mom
Posts: 389
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:00 am

Post by Mod mom »

Looking great Dan!

I have a question on the operable clerestory windows with screens. As I mentioned before all our hardware had been stolen as some point before we took ownership. Our front clerestory windows had screens that will be rebuilt. How do your windows stay open with the screens on? I see in your photo that there appears to be a lock mechanism but does that hardware actually have a mechanism to keep the window propped open? I hope I am clear in my question. Joe believes that they used to keep the window open in ours by hooking the frame to the soffit, which would mean to close it you have to go outdoors and unhook it.

Your fireplace screens and box are looking great! We've been using our living room fireplace all winter with logs from our downed ash trees. Our dining room/kitchen fireplace will require an insert because of the size of the flue. A photographer who had photographed our house in the past, Alex Vertikoff, sent me photos for personal use that shows an ugly black rather ornate box had once sat in the dining room (stolen). The chimney man suggested the fireplace did not have a proper draw, I'm wondering if your elevated box was used for drawing purposes.

Thanks in advance.

DRN
Posts: 4044
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

Mod Mom:
The clerestory windows latch to a keeper in the sill via a spring loaded bolt...a brass ring type pull on the bolt is lifted to open the window. The windows are hinged at the heads awning style, with a sliding prop bar on each side of the sash that provides enough resistance to hold the window up.

Similar latch:
http://www.vintagehardware.com/prodimag ... atch_B.jpg

Similar sash props:
http://www.pioneermillwork.com/sites/de ... ng%201.jpg


The fireplace had a draw issue that we confirmed while we were working on the house last summer: in an enclosed room condition, it drew well if wood was teepee'd in the back corner and the fire was raging. When the fire died down to a smolder like it would at the end of a day, the draw was minimal and room filled with smoke. We experimented by raising the grate in 8" increments and found that at 24" above the hearth, a smoldering fire would still have adequate draw to not smoke. The steel box we had made is our raised grate...it produces a chimney effect beneath the fire which further aids combustion and flow and the box radiates some heat after the fire dies down. The screen was made to address my vivid memories of ember melted carpeting at my grandparent's house and a flaming Sunday paper 8' away from my parent's fireplace.

peterm
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Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Diggin' those bug screens...

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

The awning/casement hinge DRN shows may be this Whitco product, a solution with a respectable history:

http://www.vincentwhitney.com

It may seem odd to open a window and find no "hinges" holding it to the frame. I don't know if Wright used these, but they work well. No need to find a way to keep the window from swinging by itself in the wind; it simply stays where you put it.

SDR

Mod mom
Posts: 389
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:00 am

Post by Mod mom »

Thanks, DRN and SDR, very helpful information! We inherited clerestory windows without any hardware, partially open without locking mechanisms.

I'm hoping to live without AC thanks to our insulated roof with a white membrane and by using the windows/doors to catch those cool breezes that rise up from the creek below. We are currently having a multi-zoned AC system installed while the wall/ceiling panels are still down, for those days when the humidity is unbearable. Thankfully, Joe is devising ways to hide those obtrusive Mitsubitshi wall units.

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