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Taliesin West Master Plan
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15715
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"There may not be any 60 degree plan elements, but there are 60 and 120 degrees in elevation all over the place."

True, but few walls and no roofs at T West are that steeply inclined. I became curious about what pitch was chosen for the major roofs there --
the drafting room, for instance -- so I copied some drawings and applied the trusty adjustable triangle to them, with the following results:


Two drawings published together in Taschen II, p 353



"Horizontals" 11º from horizontal, "verticals" 13º from vertical. The auxiliary struts -- it would be interesting to know when these were found desirable or necessary -- are at 60º from the horizontal.







Horizontals and verticals, 13º all




Ditto -- including struts




Wood elements 13º, outside masonry battered 11º




14º all




Movements Pavilion: roof 8º and 60º, outside masonry 10º




Another Movements Pavilion: roof 19º and 13º; equilateral (or almost equilateral) triangles at right




Cabaret Theater: all verticals 13º

Drawings © The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation


I have often found Mr Wright to use 10 and 15 degree angles, when the orthodox (for him) 30 and 60 were inappropriate. At Taliesin West these
ideological (or at least numerical) preferences were seemingly set aside. I expected to find 10, 12 1/2, and fifteen-degree angles in use. But no . . .

SDR


Last edited by SDR on Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 984
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roderick Grant wrote:
Both placement of the desk and the cruddy desk itself are regrettable. I suspect Olga's hand in that. But more interesting is the design of the twin beds with the panel separating them. Obviously Frank and Olga never shared a bed, but this looks a bit aggressive. I wonder which one slept facing the room, and which one slept facing the wall?


Goodness. Mr. and Mrs. Wright always had their own bedrooms, both at Taliesin and at Taliesin West. Also, the reconstruction of Mr. Wright room occurred long after Mrs. Wright's death. Granted the desk looks and appears small and queer, but she had no hand in any of those changes. As for the two beds and the panel separating them ... I'm just as mystified.
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 869
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But more interesting is the design of the twin beds with the panel separating them. Obviously Frank and Olga never shared a bed, but this looks a bit aggressive. I wonder which one slept facing the room, and which one slept facing the wall?


I've read it a few times, and/or heard docents say it on videos that the two beds separated by the wall was because if he was asleep on the one open to the room it was a day time nap, and it was permissible to disturb him if need be. But, if he ventured on the far side of the wall for slumber it was lights out and he was down for the count. Maybe that's docent lore, but I've run across it multiple times. It's not inconsistent with what Taliesin East docents say, that the daybed close to the big window was for naps, and the bed tucked back into the darker corner was for night time.


Last edited by JChoate on Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 869
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the non-orthogonal angles, did he ever employ an adjustable triangle? I've seen lots of 45s and 30/60s hanging on the wall or on the drafting tables, but never spotted and adjustable (I've always reflexively scanned the desk, when one appear in photos, to see what tools are there).
Using 45s and 30/60s, you can stack them to get other angles -- a 45 on a 60 leaves you with 105 (or 15 degrees past 90). Similarly, 45 on 30 gives a 75 degree angle. I suspect we'd find some of these angles if we scrutinized his compositions (art glass windows and other graphic designs).
But, these TWest angles SDR is detecting are oddball. 8, 11, 13, 19 ...

Perhaps, rather than using angles he's using rise over run, much like you'd specify a roof pitch. That's a harder thing to replicate in multiple parallel lines, though. So, maybe there's an adjustable triangle lurking that's thus far evaded our gaze...
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 869
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the FLW/OLW memorial rendering, it shows a checkerboard paving pattern that we have seen employed in the Legacy Fellows Quarters.
The author of the design is not identified. I wonder if one has anything to do with the other. Was the checkerboard paving installed in Mr. Wright's time, or authored later by another?

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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 984
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JChoate wrote:
Regarding the FLW/OLW memorial rendering, it shows a checkerboard paving pattern that we have seen employed in the Legacy Fellows Quarters.
The author of the design is not identified. I wonder if one has anything to do with the other. Was the checkerboard paving installed in Mr. Wright's time, or authored later by another?


Though I've never heard of anyone actually playing the game ... I always assumed the checkerboard design shown in the photo of the Apprentice Court was meant for Chess ... which suggests that perhaps Mr. Wright might have designed large Chess pieces?

The only semi-circular seating area at Taliesin West that I recall is up around the back of the mountain-side ... not too far from the David Dodge residence. It backs up against the mountain side, and it was built for Mrs. Wright in the late 60's or early 70's ... as a place she might go to get away from ... everyone else. We had a few picnics, there, and the memorial service for Kenn Lockhart was held there.

Nevertheless, the drawing is so completely smudged that it's almost impossible to read. Then, too, the seating area in the drawing appears much larger than the relatively small seat built at the base of the mountain.
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Randolph C. Henning



Joined: 21 Aug 2005
Posts: 136
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is another semi-circular element at TWest. On the way to Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer's house beyond the Atrium building off the path to the right there is a small intimate semi-circular seat wall. There was a working 3-bowl fountain built (no longer extant) and a small sculpture (no longer present). This is where several of Mrs. Wright's dogs were interred, complete with stone markers. Also, further southeast into the desert nearby, there is a small circular concrete patio with a bench which was referred to as the "lower picnic area."
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8298

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "chess board" was there when I first went in '62. At that time, Olga had a weimaraner named Casanova.

To draw eccentric parallel lines, place any rectangular straight edge adjacent to the line to be replicated, fit another straight edge against the base of that rectangle, held firmly in place, slide the rectangle to the area where the parallel line goes, and draw. No need for an adjustable triangle. I found that adjustable triangles could be recalcitrant, so I have never bothered with them.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2233
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Story I heard somewhere about Wright and the adjustable 45:
Someone hands Wright a 45 Adjustable.
Wright opens and closes it, draws a couple of lines, hands it back and says:
"Someone give me a real triangle."
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8298

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come to think of it, Tom, I have heard the same story.
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3462
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Say what you will about adjustable triangles, but they make drawing site plans, particularly the parking, and sloped roofs on elevations much faster. The world is not composed of only 30, 45, 60, and 90 degree angles.

You may throw your smart-ass comments now.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15715
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"To draw eccentric parallel lines, place any rectangular straight edge adjacent to the line to be replicated, fit another straight edge against the base of that rectangle, held firmly in place, slide the rectangle to the area where the parallel line goes, and draw. No need for an adjustable triangle."

The obvious issue there is keeping the "base" straightedge in place when moving the second one and simultaneously drawing a line. Three hands would come in . . . handy ? If the board is not much inclined, a rubber-bottomed weighted straight-edge could be effective. I'm sure Roderick managed it with aplomb . . .

There's this: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kIgqip27mH0/VTh9MGeUb6I/AAAAAAAAAB8/6G6SfoEcr7I/s1600/Triangles.jpg
http://sdrdesign.com/drafting.jpg To each his own . . .

Esther McCoy recounts with amusement, in "Five California Architects," her experience bringing her drafting machine into Schindler's office in 1944. He scoffed, even lecturing that "one could never get the feel of architecture" by using a machine -- until he finally took it on whole-heartedly. "When did you learn to use it ?" she asked, discovering him at her board one morning. "It requires no special knowledge," he airily replied. He never used the T-square again.

SDR
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3462
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the less than rarified world in which I practice, when hand drafting I often had to draw such things that were not "whole number" angles...roof pitches for the most part are not: 4in12=18.4 degrees, 5in12= 22.6 degrees, 10 in12= 39.8 degrees.

Does this mean Hugh Newell Jacobsen owns only a 45 triangle or a permanently fused adjustable?
https://www.google.com/search?q=hugh+newell+jacobsen&rlz=1T4LENN_enUS619US619&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjAjdP2rvHYAhXKSN8KHZdjDz0Q_AUICigB&biw=1224&bih=539
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15715
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh. I wonder if there's another architect who's married to a particular roof pitch.

If not for helping Bill Schwarz with the Mathews roof last year, I probably wouldn't have discovered that, c. 1950, Wright was fond of 3:12 and 6:12 pitches, combining the two on some of his unequal-pitch roofs. I am completely at one with this ideological numerology as applied to design, and I expect many another designer is as well. If simple whole numbers will do the job, why fuss with anything else ?

Of course, not every situation accepts this perhaps simplistic approach to design, as the various roof pitches found at Taliesin West demonstrate. Both aesthetic and practical considerations can dictate solutions other than the ideological ones -- which are, after all, not always or even usually evident to the observer of the work ? But the simplest of these -- elevational geometries like Jacobsen's gables, or the coincidence of a checkerboard grid with orthogonal or diagonal lines in plan, are self-evident even to the layman, and presumably satisfying to anyone's eye, and mind.

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8298

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want a 4:12 pitch, just draw 12 horizontal, 4 vertical and the hypotenuse. I don't see the difficulty. And, yes, I can use any two pieces of straight edge, with or without rubber, and get perfect parallels.

A high school friend came up with Chinese Chess, for which we needed a board, hexagonal in shape, subdivided into equilateral triangles. Since the 20"x30" tack board wasn't wide enough to accommodate the entire board, we each drew half, cut and hinged them at the center. I noticed that John's half had the occasional error, where three lines meeting didn't quite mesh. "Well, it's impossible get every intersection perfect!" he said. I showed him my half. "Oh..."
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