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The Function and Aesthetics of Cantilevers
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3746
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR:
Prestressed concrete was patented in the late 1800's in the USA, and post tensioned concrete was developed in France in the 1930's. The first prestressed concrete girder bridge was constructed in Philadelphia in 1951. Post tensioning in buildings first came into use in the early or mid '50's with lift slab construction.
My thanks to my Materials & Assemblies professor, the late great Max Mayo for those factoids.

From what I have gathered from Hoffmann's and other's books on Fallingwater, the concrete contractor's previous experience was roadway bridges, silos, and warehouses. If allowing for positive camber in the formwork was not considered by him, I doubt pre tensioning would have been in his skill set.
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loo tee



Joined: 01 Dec 2012
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that the Sturges house in Brentwood is for sale and in the news, it should be noted that Wright didn't get the cantilever right on that one, either.
Luckily, John Lautner saved the day by inserting steel beams.

Wright's all-wood cantilevers in the prairie houses were very good, either. No use pretending he was a "master builder."
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 17611
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you DRN -- and Prof Mayo !

Other factoids presented in the Meeks piece (who is he, and where did his info come from, one wonders): concrete was mixed in small, and possibly inconsistent, batches; stone-masons were in short supply -- though surely not due to any war effort in 1936-7 ? In any event, the stonework gets better and better as one's gaze travels upward; it's some of the finest random coursed ashlar seen anywhere, I'd say, and an ideal representative of Wright's specification.

loo tee, I have to agree with you. I could easily gather photographic evidence of nearly a dozen hipped roofs from the Prairie period which have humped (broken ?) hips, sagging ridges, and/or wavy eaves. But his design skills persuade us to forgive him his trespasses . . . ?

SDR
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2665
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why I've never thought to see what Wiki says about cantilevers I'll never know.
Thanks.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9203

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

loo tee, the faulty cantilevers at Sturges are not those that support the structure from below, which have never failed, but the beams that cross the living room and extend out to the trellis. FLW expected those beams to be solid, center-cut, but redwood in the dimensions he specified was not available, so the beams were built up of thinner boards which, over time, sagged greatly where exposed to weather. It was the extension of those beams over the balcony that Lautner braced with steel from above. The steel can be seen from the balcony, only if you look for it; from the roof, it is apparent.
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