And in this corner....

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KevinW
Posts: 1287
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:41 pm

And in this corner....

Post by KevinW »

KevinW

DavidC
Posts: 7906
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »

I haven't visited Millard yet, but after visiting the Cooke House last year it has become my overall favorite hemicycle design (though Laurent is very special to me, having been able to visit w/ the original homeowners twice).

Thanks for posting this.


David

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4349
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

If I won the lottery, I would easily pick the Cooke House. Very, very nice home. This house's construction was supervised by a local architect and not an apprentice. It is in terrific condition for being sixty years old. Great location, several blocks from the ocean to the east and on an inland lake to the immediate west.

Millard and Storrer and Ennis are all too dark inside for my taste.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10300
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Cooke has the added benefit of being off the beaten path. Prospect Crescent comes within a few feet of La Miniatura. Keeping the constant parade of looky-loos at bay is practically impossible. Showing the house is one thing, but coming out of the shower to find someone strolling about looking the house over is beyond the pale.

But for true artistry, La Min beats Cooke hands down. I don't find any of the block houses, especially Ennis, at all dark ... until sunset. It's very hard to illuminate the interiors at night without a system like the one in that Jack Howe house on the market.

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

Post by peterm »

Few houses are finer than La Miniatura, but many would be more practical to own, probably including Cooke. The constant threat of seismic activity in L.A. doesn't help matters with any of the textile block houses. I haven't seen Cooke. How does the light color brick feel in person? I can't really tell from the photos whether I like it or not. If the question is only about beauty, I would say Millard wins easily...

But I suppose it's apples and oranges.

SDR
Posts: 19617
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I happen to like "moody" lighting at night -- as long as there is appropriate task lighting (reading light, for instance) available.

Our friend Laurie would be horrified by the lumpy faceted curves of the sheetrock and millwork at Cooke. His own hemicycles are flawlessly wrought in those particulars -- though the task of wrapping sheetrock around a convex or concave ceiling vault that's curved in plan, and finishing with a perfect arc at the ridge, would daunt me if the task were mine. I guess there are experts in every field . . .

Perhaps his ceilings are plastered ?

SDR

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

Post by peterm »

The kitchen detailing is not quite up to par. There is no fascia on the open side at the top. None of this in and of itself is such a big deal; the house appears to be in good condition, but when compared with a masterwork...

Notice the results of the poll so far...

Laurie Virr
Posts: 472
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:32 pm

Post by Laurie Virr »

The ceilings of my house are sheetrock. I know this to my cost, as I was obliged to perform the work by myself. No artisan was prepared to undertake the task, or even assist.

I fixed the rafters at 600 mm on centers, their undersides feathered on the concave side, and bevelled to the convex. The sheets were 3600 and 4200 mm long, and 1200 wide, and it was necessary for me to devise templates before they were cut. I also made a number of adjustable props to assist me in maneuvering the sheets into position. It requires little imagination to appreciate that progress was extremely slow.

The distance on centers between the mullions on the north side of the hemicycle is a little over 1200 mm, making it preferable to fix the sheets length ways around the arc, and obviating the need for unnecessary joints.

The lesson I learned was that if something is wanted enough, one can find a means of achieving it. As a consequence of this, and similar experiences, money would not buy this house.

Education Professor
Posts: 594
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:10 pm

Post by Education Professor »

The article mentions a cottage at the Cooke house. Is this referring to the bunker under the pool/spa area? Has anyone visited the cottage/bunker? What types of rooms are inside?

EP

SDR
Posts: 19617
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Here's another Virr-designed residence -- not the architect's own, this time. Perhaps these exquisite ceilings have become second nature, with practice ?


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John
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 12:25 am
Location: Shoreview, MN

Cooke House

Post by John »

Should we start worrying about the FLLW buildings that will be flooded in the next 20 years?
Is this already a thread?

SDR
Posts: 19617
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

It was mentioned recently, somewhere here, perhaps in relation with hurricane Sandy ?

Which house(s) do you have in mind ?

S

John
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 12:25 am
Location: Shoreview, MN

Global Rising Waters...

Post by John »

I'll look for that thread.
How about Cooke?

Laurie Virr
Posts: 472
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:32 pm

Post by Laurie Virr »

To my knowledge there are 7 iron oxides that are available to color concrete floors; red, yellow, green, black, brown, blue, and marigold, this last a result of mixing the first two.

Many of the Usonion houses have red brick masonry and red floors. I suggest these elements work well together, whereas the red floor with the lighter brick of the Cooke house does not seem as appropriate. Would a muted yellow have fitted the scheme better?

It is to be noted that construction of the Cooke house did not commence until 2 weeks prior to Frank Lloyd Wright’s passing. Whilst the ground plan of the hemicycle portion of the house is brilliant, there are numerous indications that the detailing is not as consistent as is the case with most all the other Usonians. The dining table bears no relationship to the radial, or the 60/30 modules of the house, whilst much of the freestanding furniture would be more fitted if in the foyer of Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

If Frank Lloyd Wright had not been immersed in his work on the Guggenheim Museum, would he have approved the color of brick chosen for the Cooke house, and if so, would he have opted for the red floor?

Are we to ascribe the poor standard of construction to an inexperienced apprentice, and the colors of brick and floor to the taste of Olgivanna?

When Jack Hillmer designed the Ludekens house he took into account the color of the granite mass of the fireplace, together with that of the joinery and furniture, and chose dark green for the concrete floor.
I would suggest that it looked fine.

Here in Australia, given the color of the sky, and those of the landscape, a red concrete floor would look entirely out of place, whereas in North American conditions it can be appropriate for both floor and bricks to be of that hue.

It is almost as tho, for the Usonian house, there was a formula, of which the red concrete floor slab was an inviolable element. Given Jack Hillmer’s success with the Ludekens house is it beyond the pale to suggest that a dark green slab could be appropriate with unpainted concrete masonry units, or a muted yellow one with brown or buff colored bricks?

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

Post by peterm »

Good points about color and the Cooke house, Laurie. Also interesting are your conclusions about the color in Australia. Schindler responded to the colors in Southern California in a similar manner. The muted greens, grays, and browns of the indigenous landscape and the bark of the surrounding (imported from you know where!...) eucalyptus trees were the foundation of his color palette. No midwestern barn red, ever... Doesn't Wright's deep red-brown crave its color complement, green (something that the indigenous landscapes of So Cal and Australia are in short supply of)?


Ludekens: Unfinished redwood (looks like rough sawn to me...) in the interior combined with the dark green floor and natural colored concrete makes a refined palette. It's interesting how light in color value redwood can be when left without oil or varnish... He used 30' long boards for the kitchen ceiling, and a 21' stainless one-piece stainless steel countertop! Redwood plywood for the inside of the exterior deck railing, solid t and g boards for the outside, capped with a true 2 by 4? All of this must be concealing some sort of thin steel framing ...

One clever, yet completely impractical and slightly sadistic idea was the placement of the switches for the electric stove behind the burners on the window sill.
SDR wrote:Hillmer's Ludekens house, 1949, Belvedere Island, CA.


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Courtesy of SDR...

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