Taliesin West Restoration Master Plan Article

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DRN
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Taliesin West Restoration Master Plan Article

Post by DRN »

I saw this in the latest issue of Architect Magazine:

http://www.architectmagazine.com/histor ... est_o.aspx

Macrodex
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Post by Macrodex »

Wright directing the construction of Taliesin West with his cane.
I am almost certain he is at Guggenheim in that picture.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Dan, thanks for posting this.

Overall, it was a good article (some pictures are mislabeld, though). And I'd agree with Arnold Roy - T. West is still alive and breathing ((though, perhaps on a respirator at the moment) ..... And rather than permanently lock it - and themselves - into a ~ 30 year historical timespan, they would be much better off doing some kind of amalgam wherein you identify, keep, save and maintian all of the historically significant structures - while allowing a certain amount of flexibilty and adaptability for ongoing and future operations.

If and when the day should ever arrive that T. West becomes nothing more than pure museumspace and land, then the decision can be taken as to what timeframe is most important for representation of each of the various structures.


David

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Maybe each bay of the workroom roof could be restored to a particular era -- a sort of "T West historical sampler" ?

Well, maybe not. Clearly the same problem exists at both Taliesins: Which era(s) to represent. I'm happy to see that at both sites certain Olgivanna insertions have been erased. The baby/bathwater problem is alive and well . . .

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Master plans are fine, if they can be completed within a short period of time. That won't happen at T-West. Over an extended period, much if not all, of a master plan is superceded by changing minds and inevitable cost overruns. Better to start with a program for its long-term use, identify and fix that which is to be saved, delete those things that should not have been built in the first place, make the structure accommodate the needs rather than the other way around.

One thing I've never experienced at T-West is the quality of light that comes through canvas, as opposed to whatever synthetic materials have been used over the years. When I was there in '62, the canvas had just been replaced by a 3M test material that was relentlessly white. Olga thought it a major improvement over the canvas. I doubt that. Roy is correct about returning to canvas: It makes T-West a part-time residence, and even an uncomfortable place for tourists to visit in the summer. A reasonable compromise would be a transparent material that would allow for A/C (which FLW would never have approved of!) with canvas adhered to the interior face.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

How about the canvas as the winter material, with a removable "storm window" covering (of a clear and rollable material ?) to be added during the months when AC is in use ? Was the canvas originally used able to deal with rain ?

SDR

Unbrook
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Taliesin West

Post by Unbrook »

The idea of experiencing the canvas roof is so intriguing, but I too wonder about the practicality. Taliesin West has always seemed a little forlorn when I have visited and I would love to see it more "polished". I never have seen the drafting room. I never get an idea of how the complex functioned, how people lived and worked there. Wouldn't a long term master plan give a direction for repair/restoration?

outside in
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Post by outside in »

I'm afraid that if a strict restoration plan were enacted, such as the requirement to return to canvas, the "restoration" would more or less guarantee the end the use of the studio as a drafting room. The space requires both heating and AC, as does Mr. Wrights quarters which was built using the same construction techniques. The canvas roof and operable panels would allow desert dust and dirt to infiltrate the studio. Furthermore, the return to canvas does very little to protect the historic interiors of both spaces. I'm not sure if anyone has had the pleasure of camping in a canvas tent, but the material leaks where ever it is touched. One would hope that a preservation plan would both respect the buildings original construction, yet accept compromise that would ensure the longevity of the architectural practice and the historic interiors.

The studio roof panels were replaced about 10 years ago using a very sophisticated system, and one wonders why the years of research and development would be dispensed with so quickly.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Polished, Unbrook ? As in, after the whole place is carpeted and painted, with double-pane glass everywhere and vases of flowers installed ?

I don't know where this photo came from or when it was taken; the whole room, including the model in the foreground, looks like it had been left in the rain for five years. I find it entrancing. But then, I'm a romantic . . .


Image

outside in
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Post by outside in »

SDR - I believe this is the second or third roof version - the canvas panels had rotted over the winter in storage, the cost of canvas had risen, and Wright found the light levels too high. Lapped Boards were used for a few years until the desert sun rotted them as well.

Wright was constantly playing with the roof structure. In the late '50's he was looking into fiberglass.

Paul Ringstrom
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Post by Paul Ringstrom »

How about using a laminated UV-resistant panel with canvas being the middle lamination? sounds like a win-win.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

outside in
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Post by outside in »

The panels installed in early 2000 were UV resistant plastic with an insulation (microglass) between the panels made in Germany. A canvas panel was placed on the inside of the panels to give the texture and appearance of the original construction.

outside in
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Post by outside in »

This is Arnold Roy's drawing depicting the different configurations of the roof trusses/roofing at TWest over time.
Image
This building section was used by Wright to modify the roof over time.
Image

Unbrook
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Taliesin West

Post by Unbrook »

By polished-I guess I mean the overall look of the place. I didn't look like the crown jewel of the Frank Lloyd Wright world.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Yes. The Mark Peterman photo in the piece linked by DRN at the top shows the place looking as neat as I've seen it . . .

That building section is of interest. A bit hard to interpret as to the roof details. I went looking for other sections of the drafting room, and found very little. No drawings at all but the overall plan, in Monograph 6; Taschen ditto but for this early sketch. Note differences in truss details at both ends of the roof beams, between the photo and the section above, the drawing below, and the following photos.


Image

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photo Guerrero, c. 1940

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photo Stoller, 1946

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photo Crane, 1946

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

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