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

Post by Rood »

Examining the manner in which Mr. Wright prepared rooms prior to have them photographed, or just as an personal essay in design and decoration, is always instructive. He may have gone on a shopping trip while Pedro Guerrero photographed the rooms of one of his houses, but you can be sure he positioned everything "just so" prior to leaving.

Merely studying the way he positioned plates, vases, and branches on the decks at Taliesin, and in his various houses is an artistic education, all by itself.

Seeing a photograph of a room decorated by Mr. Wright never fails to take my breath away. One of the greatest decorating jobs he ever did was for the little, private dining alcove located just inside the old Fellowship dining room in what is now the Hill apartment. As I recall the colour photograph was featured in a magazine article back in the 1940's.

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Right!

There is a photo of Taliesin West where Mr. And Mrs. Wright's breakfast is laid out, oranges sliced, etc. the sun streaming in... I can't remember exactly, but it seems like the photo was almost taken mid meal, with toast on the plates, pillows everywhere, sheepskins.

Does anyone know if that pic has been posted here? It is sublime in its elegant messiness and informality, yet everything seems to be located exactly where it should be. Genius...

In searching for the photo that I just mentioned, I found this which I've never seen before. T West, still unpainted, at an Easter gathering:

http://blog.archpaper.com/tag/wisconsin/#.VoQJdK9OKrU

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

I agree, Paul, that empty bookcases can look bleak, but since Audrey doesn't collect those artifacts of the pre-digital age, filling the shelves with "props" can look contrived. I've never worried about too little of anything when it comes to décor. Possessions accumulate as time goes by, whether you try to fill in the gaps or not. For years, I wanted a bust. Not just anything, but something that would fit into my place. My aunt has a wonderful Art Nouveau bust of a young girl with a laurel wreath in her hair that I envied. But I could never find exactly what I wanted ... until I did. Now I have it. Live in one place long enough, and you will end up with more things than you have places to put them without trying.

One thing about digital books that I wonder about is size. I have some huge books and portfolios on art and architecture that, whittled down to the size of a Kindle, would lose a lot. Imagine lugging a 17"x26" Kindle onto the plane to enjoy Ausgefuhrte Bauten en route!

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

Post by SDR »

I marvel -- or despair -- at my friends who seem perfectly happy to squint at a tiny screen, just to have it with them anywhere they go. I couldn't appreciate visual work of any kind -- much less produce it -- without my desktop computer. I'm speaking of the cell phone; I suppose a laptop is a different matter.

SDR

Craig
Posts: 565
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 7:25 am
Location: California

Post by Craig »

Who cared if Frank Lloyd Wright designed it? I was ready to encounter a dank and stale environment. I was wrong.

As much as I wanted to hate this old house on my first visit, I could not.
So what brought you to the house in the first place? When I went, I was expecting one of Wright's best designs.
ch

Audrey
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:24 am
Contact:

Post by Audrey »

RE my expectation of a "dank and stale environment" before visiting the G-W House for the first time...my feelings were based on my idea of visiting a an old house-ANY old house.

FLW's designs are timeless. I knew it would be beautiful, but it would still be a historic structure. I tend to be very sensitive to the energy of a thing or place, especially historic sites. I was not excited about acquiring a property with the possible negative energy that might be present in a 75 year old home that had had multiple occupants over the years.

But, apparently for all the reasons we love it, Usonian design keeps people happy!

Audrey

Unbrook
Posts: 706
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 11:19 am
Location: Lakewood, Ohio

Taliesin Unpainted

Post by Unbrook »

It looks as though it was painted a red color. Or am I looking at the wrong photo?

SDR
Posts: 20293
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

The poor old girl has lived through several humiliations. Here's a photo that makes the house appear to be an object of brick and metal, like a particularly inspired Neutra creation ?

Image


Photographs do lie -- if they're published backward:

Image

from a paperback edition of "The Natural House." Here's the correct orientation:


Image

This photo is a perfect representative of the meaning behind Wright's comment, from the same book, to wit: "Yes, we must have polished plate glass. It is one of the things we have at hand to gratify the designer of the truly modern house and to bless its occupants." Only with polished plate do we have those perspective-perfect reflections of nature, and of the architecture !

SDR

jmcnally
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Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:23 am

Post by jmcnally »

The polished glass also helps promote the feeling of the indoors and outdoors being One.

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

Post by SDR »

Curtain-wall towers have been built since the 'sixties with wavy glass, denying the promise given by the architect's rendering and destroying the intended appearance -- I have to assume. It's a pleasure to see a building "reflecting" its worth, for a change !

SDR

Paul Ringstrom
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

I have noticed the increase in wavy glass and wondered: "Why?"

Have glass makers forgotten how to make non-wavy glass or is it much more expensive.

Is it not possible to make insulated glass with two pieces of polished plate glass?

To the best of my recollection: the floor to ceiling glass in the Darwin Martin House Visitor Center does not have wavy glass.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
Posts: 20293
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Wavy glass is directly related to thickness, I believe. There's no sense making a perfectly flat piece of glass -- float, polished, or from Mars -- if the wind is going to make it into a funhouse mirror, which is what happens on those reflective high-rises. (When metal-coated glass came in, that's when the real fun started, come to think of it.) Of course, even 5/8" glass is going to deflect when the sheets are 5 x 9 feet or more.

But it did seem that the problem came on slowly. I'll look again at the Lever building in Manhattan, from the 'fifties. I don't expect the glass to be wavy at the Seagram building; Mies simply wouldn't have it, I'm sure . . . !

SDR

peterm
Posts: 6293
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Much of the "waviness" of contemporary glass is due to the tempering process which allows glass to break into tiny crystals instead of large, dangerous shards. It is nearly impossible to now buy non tempered glass of the thickness required for sash.

Touring the Farnsworth house, it's possible to see the original glass next to replaced glass (a worker recently accidentally put a hammer into a giant corner window!...) Even though the house is historic, they were required to replace with tempered glass for safety concerns.

There is just no comparison.

"The surface of tempered glass does exhibit surface waves caused by contact with flattening rollers, if it has been formed using this process. This waviness is a significant problem in manufacturing of thin film solar cells. The float glass process can be used to provide low-distortion sheets with very flat and parallel surfaces."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempered_glass

Paul Ringstrom
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Fortaleza Hall at SCJohnson Wax has a lot of glass that we were told came from Germany. No noticeable waves.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

Tom
Posts: 3218
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Good info.
So, if you want a tempered glass without the El Cheapo wavy look, you've got to specify Float Glass. Did I get that right?

Also, sorta surprised to learn that the Farnsworth windows were not tempered in the first place.
I think I had always assumed that the wavy look was a recent thing, a consequence of the cheapening of material ingredients for market purposes and so not related to tempering.

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