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eBay: Prints for Duey Wright & Marden Houses
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16944
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RG will dismiss it with a wave of the hand, sort of like Lady Grantham after looking at one of the new-fangled "greeting cards" at Downton -- the incomparable Maggie Smith and her facile wrists. But don't let that stop you . . . !

The bold and simple plan drawings in Storrer are very helpful in making Wright's intentions -- and, typically, what was actually built, which is not necessarily the same thing -- when compared to the original plans, with their
many little notes and dimension lines muddying the waters, as it were. A copy of that book would be worth a couple of hundred dollars, I would think, to the dedicated Wrightian ? The quality of the binding is proven for me by
the number of times I've had the book on my scanner -- it's been handled and mishandled for twenty years without any sign of impending disintegration. (I speak of the hardbound edition.)

S
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16944
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.americanbookwarehouse.com/912502/

Don't know anything about the seller -- but it's a far lower price than anywhere else online, so far . . .

Hardbound copy at AbeBooks and elsewhere, $301, is damaged . . .

This looks like the deal -- unless you must have the revised (color) edition:

https://www.ebay.com/p/The-Frank-Lloyd-Wright-Companion-by-William-A-Storrer-1994-Hardcover/91405

S
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8880

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom, if you want to learn about gothic architecture, first read Henry Adams "Mont-San-Michel and Chartres," especially on the evolution of the famous gothic arch. But if you are hesitant to part with the cost of Storrer, you probably should look for the Adams book at your local public library.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8880

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR, Storrer was very dissatisfied with the quality of the plans in his book. He was hamstrung by a cheap computer system provided by his publisher. But, as with Madeleine Thatcher of HB, the clear, simple drawings of Storrer's book are very helpful in getting a basic understanding.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2468
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other than RG, who knew:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Adams
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8880

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another book on gothic architecture is "Monastery & Cathedral in France" by Whitney S. Stoddard. He posits the idea that the gothic arch came about accidentally in Romanesque architecture. Where two tunnel or barrel vaults intersect, a groin vault is created. When the concomitant outlines of a groin vault are emphasized by ribbing, an illusion is created by viewing the ribbing from an angle which makes it appear to be a pointed arch. Voila!
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3659
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lenticular or hemicycle plans fall into two distinct types based on their plan unit geometry. The Laurent house derived plan types use an orthogonal unit, and the Jacobs II derived plans use a radial unit.

Radial Units:
Jacobs II
Meyer
Lewis
Cooke (Cooke is a hybrid of a radial unit "head" and diamond unit "tail")
L. Wright

Orthogonal Units:
Laurent
Winn
Pearce
Marden
Rayward
Spencer
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16944
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent. Now, let's see what we get when we add the L or H designations to Dan's list:


Radial Units:

Jacobs II - H
Meyer - H
Lewis - L
Cooke (Cooke is a hybrid of a radial unit "head" and diamond unit "tail") - H
L. Wright - L

Orthogonal Units:

Laurent - H
Winn - H
Pearce - H
Marden - flat
Rayward - H
Spencer - H


So, we have Wright mixing it up, trying different combinations of plan shapes and grid patterns -- as I guess we would expect ?

S

[edited to correct glass shape]


Last edited by SDR on Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3659
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Laurent, Winn, Pearce, Rayward, and Spencer houses all have concave window walls with convex terraces and per my understanding of the H and L designations, should all be H's.
Winn may be a special case in that it has a concave window wall, but its elevated terrace is enclosed with a roof and a convex screen wall (in effect a skylighted screen porch).
As seen in Mono 8, Marden began with a concave window wall, but I suspect it was flattened in later design iterations to allow more useable/furnishable floor area in the circulation space to take advantage of the spectacular view of the Potomac valley.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16944
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it appears I screwed that one up royally. I shall go back and edit my posts.

My intention was to distinguish the houses based on the plan shape of the window wall; H is concave, L is convex. Of course, that's only one characteristic among several that could be called out for this group of houses. In the end
they are unique. It was the lenticular plans that I sought to separate from the hemicycles . . .

The chronological listing I take from Storrer. Presented in the (non-chronological) order he shows them, the list neatly begins and ends with the hemicycles, with the two lenticular ones falling two-thirds of the way through the group.

Jacobs II - 44 -- H
Meyer - 47 -- H
Laurent - 49 -- H
Winn - 50 -- H
Pearce - 50 -- H
Marden - 52 -- flat
Lewis - 52 - L
Cooke - 52 -- H
L Wright - 53 -- L
Rayward - 53 -- H
Spencer - 56 -- H

So, per Dan's lists, all the orthogonal-grid houses are "hemicycles" -- or, at least, they all have concave glass. The radial-plan group is mixed, in that respect . . .

S
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8880

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There you have it, DNR, almost all of them are indeed Aches, with only a couple of Ells. But I object to the term "lenticular"; it sounds "cuisinical."
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What word do you prefer to use, to specify the plan shape of the L Wright and Lewis pair of designs ? Lenticular surely is not inaccurate -- no matter the unintended food-based association ?

S
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3659
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will reiterate my belief that there are two distinct plan types for the hemicycles:

1. radial unit based, which Jacobs II was the first built example
2. orthogonal unit based, which Laurent was the first built example

The concave/convex pairing of the window wall and a reflected terrace seems to be a trait of the orthogonal unit based plans.

The radial unit plans often have an anchoring circular masonry element usually containing utilities, whereas the orthogonal unit plans have orthogonally based masonry anchoring elements.

The David Wright house, thought not functionally a solar hemicycle, shares several design elements and geometries with the radial unit plan type.

The Kaufmann Boulder House may be a mash up of the two systems...its grid is not clear per the plan, but it does seem to be organized by a center line and back to back right triangles extending from the center line.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16944
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you; that's a much more useful description of the situation than the overly simplistic tag of window wall plan shape. Any commonalities are to be grasped like a lifeline, when encountering a novel phenomenon . . . ?

In any event, I am not much moved by this group of houses; the living spaces seem often to be squashed into a banana shape, in order to accommodate the convex window wall. Jacobs II, despite having somewhat fussy
terminals in plan, seems a pleasant place to be.

Can an actual improvement in interior climate -- or some other gain -- be claimed for the "hemicycle" ? The sun's rays arrive as parallel beams of light; how they are absorbed by the floor and interior walls doesn't seem to
me to be much affected by the shapes of the glass planes they penetrate. Does the interior atmosphere actually benefit from the curved nature of the plan ?


It is the "lenticular" near-twins that I find most moving as plan drawings -- at least. Shown here at about the same size, the Lewis house is actually larger than L Wright, according to Storrer's scale indication: 7.5' vs 6' per
unit at the large end of the wedge. The Lewis plan is related to Jacobs II . . .


George Lewis, Tallahassee, FL, 1952; Llewellyn Wright, Bethesda, MD, 1953



plans © W A Storrer
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3659
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Does the interior atmosphere actually benefit from the curved nature of the plan ?


I have noticed that Wright's deep structural mullions, coupled with the relative thickness of his wood sashes cast considerable shadows as the sun shines at increasingly oblique angles across the Sweeton walls of windows later in the morning.
My observation at the Spencer house is that those shadows are reduced with the combination of wider stationary windows and the facets of the wall rotating in plan to allow a portion of the window wall to have a less oblique orientation for a longer stretch of the day.
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