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Tom
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Post by Tom »

I've alwys assumed the crown of rays at top and on the right were lights at night.
and according to the section the outer roof frame is uplit.
But re-looking it seems they might be some type of permanent install
- especially over the main block theater wing.
Maybe just some kind of graphic experiment on paper

SDR
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Post by SDR »

The latter, surely: light rays, projected fancifully to make a three-dimensional triangulated grid. Pretty nifty, and unique in the library of Taliesin images ?

Besinger, in a caption to an aerial drawing of the church, calls this a "steeple of light" (his quotation marks)---presumably something Mr Wright had said or written.
On page 89 of his book he reports that he and Davy Davison produced these drawings, in brown ink---one each---"for publicity purposes."

Presumably a version of the effect could be had, using laser lights in an atmosphere of (natural or manufactured) fog ?

S

Tom
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Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Yeah lights,
but does;t the pattern over the theater look like
some kind of cable stayed structure.
It seems like structural concepts are being used
to simulate light patterns

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Cart before the horse; it's at best an abstraction of a possible lighting effect, which result could be (mis)construed as a solid object of some sort.

S

Tom
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Post by Tom »

I disagree.
I think it's a structural diagram rendered to look like lights and shadows.

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

An anomaly in the upper image is the appearance of two triangular fields rendered in parallel lines rather than stipple. This element could foster a reading of the whole as a
construction rather than as an abstracted projection of light---which admittedly does not much resemble or reflect the perforated roof-top elements of the building ...


Image

SDR
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Post by SDR »

It is interesting to read, in Besinger, that Mr Wright said, "I am going to start with the parking problem in this case and then build the church around it." And, "... he suggested that the entire site would be devoted to parking
with the church supported on graceful pillars over the parked cars." The budget was apparently $100,000.

Besinger goes on, "There was no precedence [sic] in the drawings of Mr Wright's work for this kind of construction. And yet, to me, the construction was essentially simple. It was to be a "thin" building, to be framed in two-
inch-square steel tubing. The framing of the walls was to be very much like the wood-stud framing of an ordinary house except that the sill and head plates and the studs were to be steel tubes. There would be a few steel
columns supporting floor or roof beams. The floors and roof were to be framed with steel joists in much the same manner that wood joists were used. All of this framing was to have an inner and outer skin of gunite
concrete sprayed against a paper-backed steel mesh. The walls were to be only about four inches thick."

Besinger did the drawings, Wes did the calculations; the drawings were completed and signed over a weekend in the summer of 1940.

S

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

If only Wright knew of Thin Shell Concrete.

If anyone wonders what can be done with thin shell with rebar and wood forming here is an example. This church was designed by architect Bill Ryan in 1959 for Immanuel Lutheran Church in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

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Last edited by Jeff Myers on Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
JAT
Jeff T

DRN
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Post by DRN »

Wright knew about thin shell concrete and used it for the dome at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. According to a book about the history of the Guastavino Tile Company, Wright initially considered a timbrel (tile) dome but apparently labor costs shifted Wright’s material selection to thin shell concrete.

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

Thank you DRN for clarifying that. I did not know he used it.
Found early pics and a render from the churches Facebook.

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JAT
Jeff T

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Here is the remainder of Besinger's report on the church. Readers will be reminded of the difficulties
of getting something built that is out of the ordinary...



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from “Working with Mr Wright,� Curtis Besinger, © 1995 by Cambridge University Press

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

The lesson here is don’t sabotage someone’s work because you wanted someone else besides the outsider. Did they not realize Wright’s work on Johnson Wax had similar questions of structure and they passed? I mean really it’s sad they did anything they could to get it to not be built and yet it was built to what they wanted instead of what Wright, the master, saw for the project.

I think if they cooperated more and just accepted Wright’s vision it would be more marveled at than what is a Wright vision that was sabotaged by committees.

Goff had similar issues when he designed the Adah Robinson residence. This glamorous house design given up mid build due to a kitchen. The design is still amazing but not to what Goff had envisioned. I know this chat has architects, craftsman who probably have dealt with similar things that Goff and Wright went through. I’m not an architect yet so correct me if I am wrong.
JAT
Jeff T

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Besinger sidesteps the issue of budget, beyond mention of an initial figure and Wright's comment that the amount appeared unrealistic. Money was no
doubt a part of the decision to eliminate parking and other construction; scarcity of copper is cited but not what that extensive metalwork would have cost.

What was finally spent ? Besinger doesn't (can't ?) tell us ...

S

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