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Ramps?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15848
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No such features (garage ramps) are visible in these views of Monona, I believe:





But there were other ramp projects on the Taliesin boards in the late 'forties. Here are three:

Pittsburg Point Park Civic Center, 1947. Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, in his "Treasures of Taliesin," says, "Rising fifteen levels, the main circular structure that houses the various facilities of the civic center is a ramp bordered on the outer edge by planting and shrubs. This great ramp provides access to functions within the civic center, including parking. The peripheral planting is designed to soften the effect of the concrete, keep down the traffic noise, and absorb the fumes from cars." Right.




Then, another scheme for the Guggenheim, dated August 1948. Here we have yet another attempt at rendering the complexity of the helix, in elevation with cut-away to show the interior. No subtleties of curvature where the ramps curve away from the viewer toward the tangent; just straight diagonal lines -- steep enough to suggest two parallel ramps, one below the other. In the cut-away, the interior elevation of the far side of the cone would show the ramps sloping the other way, naturally -- but not here.

At Taliesin, it was pretty clearly "every man for himself" when it came to delineating these complex geometries . . . !




Finally (well, I hope there are more examples), we have a Self-service [parking] Garage for Pittsburg (1949). The drawings languished at the city parking authority before being returned, at Mrs Wright's request, to Taliesin. They had been found there by a research student. I'll post the descriptive portion of Mr Pfeiffer's text. My photo distorts the base line at bottom left, adding to the wave-like swell of the structure as drawn . . .



"Two years after he designed the Pittsburgh Point Park Civic Center projects, Frank Lloyd Wright was again at work for Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr., this time to design a large parking garage on a lot next to Kaufmann's department store. The garage would serve not only the store next door but a large segment of Pittsburgh's downtown area, desperately in need of parking space.

"The project for Kaufmann was entitled Self-Service Garage. The notion of self-service was then gaining popularity around the country. Markets and drugstores were beginning to use it as means of reducing labor costs and keeping the end product more reasonably priced. In 1949, Mr. Wright created a garage parking system that would be no more difficult to use than parking on the street.

"The building ascends in a series of double ramps to a height of six levels, with a basement level for underground parking. The total parking area would accommodate· over twelve hundred cars. The center is an open court for ventilation, but the sides facing the streets of the block are closed to prevent strong wind currents during stormy weather or icy blasts in winter. The central court holds a spacious fountain pool to help cool and refresh the air. Smaller pedestrian ramps around the court service the car ramps, and the exterior ramp -- the descending exit -- is open to the elements on the side but protected from above.

"There are two elevators, and the roof parking is combined with planting for greenery and landscaping. The central court contains tall, structural members that rise above the roof in the center to support cables from which the inner edges of the ramps are suspended. The principle of construction is therefore the cantilever, made by reinforced concrete slabs and further stabilized by suspension cables, much like a suspension bridge. The waiting room on the entrance level is a small theater with a curved television screen, designed so that persons who have to wait for someone to come with a car can sit and watch projected TV.

"The level that faces Kaufmann's department store contains space for showwindows, with access at the basement level. A closed bridge on the sixthfloorlevel connects again to Kaufmann's at the office level. But the plan was definitely conceived as a downtown parking facility to serve the entire area."



The cantilever and the suspension bridge are discrete concepts, as I understand it . . .

S D R
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m.perrino



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ramp on the David Wright house was for pedestrians only. The walk up to the front door presents dramatic views of Camelback Mountain and if I remember correctly, a recessed offset front door.

Photos of the house are very deceptive as to the intent of the ramp.

The ramps at Grady Gammage are also only for pedestrians.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15848
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, I guess we're not going to find many more pedestrian ramps. Have we talked about Anderton Court ? Somewhere recently I read an insider's comment re the design evolution there -- can't recall who it was.

I still like that Trinity Chapel on the previous page, for sheer footage of ramp !

S
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