Zimmerman residence drawings

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SDR
Posts: 18801
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Zimmerman residence drawings

Post by SDR »

It has long frustrated students of Wright's postwar work that no drawings of the Dr Isadore and Lucille Zimmerman residence have been published.

In Monograph 7, we have six of Yukio Futagawa's black-and-white photos, and in Taschen III four color photographs by Ezra Stoller are presented
---without explanation, in either case, for the absence of a single drawn image.

It took some of us a while to learn that, in fact, Taliesin possessed no drawings---or at least, none that could be presented. Perhaps there are
preliminary sketches in the final volume(s) of the Monograph set ?

Now, at this late date, a group of 23 drawings have appeared, at the Heritage Auctions site.

https://fineart.ha.com/itm/fine-art-wor ... 01-67117.s

There appear to be two versions of the house among these sheets. I will present them here as Zimmerman 1 and Zimmerman 2. A third plan
appears at the end; this one is very close to the plan that William Allin Storrer published in 1993---until now the only document that we have had
showing the floor plan of the house as built.


In each case where I post a Taliesin plan, I will accompany it with Storrer's as-built drawing, oriented to match, as a reference.


Zimmerman 1


Image

Image


Image 1 A

Image 1 B

Image 1 C

Image 1 D

Image




Zimmerman 2

Image

Image


Image


Image
photo © Ezra Stoller


Zimmerman 3

Image

Image


Image


color: © copyright 2019 by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

monotone: © copyright 1993 by William Allin Storrer

SDR
Posts: 18801
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

W A Storrer's notes on a Wright project provide information not found elsewhere. Here is his entry for the Zimmerman residence.


ImageImage

© 1993 by William Allin Storrer, from "The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion"

Tom
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

This is great.

Note how the board and batten wall is secured to the mat, not with embedded
metal strip but with inlaid redwood continuous stock.

Also seems like a fair amount of steel in the roof according to roof framing plan.

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

SDR, Zimmermann is not included in either volume 11 (prelims) or 12 (In His Renderings).

Geiger was in charge of building Zimmermann, and designed both the master bedroom windows (with horizontal transom rather than following the pitch of the roof) and the living room windows (with fixed glass rather than operable). Selected Houses, pp 104-119, has some good b/w images of the interiors.

Matt2
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Post by Matt2 »

I believe Geiger had a set of drawings as well. Would they be in his archive?

victoriad
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:34 am

Post by victoriad »

From John Geiger's website, jgonwright.net:

There are three versions of the construction drawings for the Zimmerman house. The first set of preliminary working drawings was prepared at Taliesin prior to Geiger's departure for the building site in New Hampshire. On arrival, Geiger determined that the first group of drawings was inadequate and redrafted the set with extensive corrections, revising the original sheets and adding a suffix "A" to new drawings he introduced. These were sent to Taliesin for review. A third set made subsequently by Geiger on site served as the basis for construction, and contains additional sheets showing interior details, cabinetry, furniture, and other finish features. For many years Geiger kept the originals of the working drawings he had produced, until he donated them to the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives in 2009 and retained print copies (shown as images here). At the time Geiger wrote his essay on the construction of the Zimmerman house, he noted that his drawings had been misplaced by the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives. This circumstance has since been remedied, and some drawings are shown here with their Frank Lloyd Wright Archives inventory numbers. The detail images below are a combination of the sets retained by Geiger and copies provided to him by the Currier Museum of Art. When present, thumbnail images of individual sheets are provided here for reference only.

Roderick, the Zimmerman Garden Room windows are operable. They were redesigned by Geiger from vertical casements to the brilliant awning windows we have today. Fixed glass panels surround the central (~4' x 4') opening which is hinged at the top. All fenestration throughout the house is complemented with bronze interior screens.

SDR, thank you for posting the progression of plans. Seeing the evolution of this design never fails to inspire admiration for Geiger's contribution. While the astute siting and the "idea of the thing" were undoubtedly Wright, John took rough stone and polished it into a jewel. The Zimmerman House is what it is because of him. Beautiful, serene and profoundly graceful.

Tom
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

So did Gieger turn the Master bedroom to face the garden?
... and is he the one that lengthened the work space past the entry toward the study/bed with a clerestory?

... I'd always thought those central square livingroom windows were fixed.

Matt2
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Post by Matt2 »

I recall Geiger mentioning he expanded the carport storage shed. It struck me as interesting that there was apparently a level of comfort in making such adjustments on site.

Tom
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

On of the cool surprises of the Zimmerman house is how the open space of the carport frames the garden.
There is no glalss of course but it's definitely a window.
The early drawings close that off with the "cast stone perfs"

victoriad
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:34 am

Post by victoriad »

I wrote a long reply to Tom's questions earlier today but it disappeared when I hit preview :x

Anyway, to sum it up:

Most of the plan revisions were done at Taliesin after the Zimmermans' meeting with Wright at the Plaza Hotel and subsequent correspondence. The bedroom and workspace changes Tom asked about were made before John knew he would be involved. It appears Wright himself scribbled notes on the preliminary drawing--doesn't it?

John's job on site was to make it work. We have a fascinating collection of letters written to that end. Of course, most of his suggestions were approved, including the carport changes: expansion of the closet into an 8 x 8 ft. storage shed and elimination of the block windows in the back wall--although (probably apocryphally) that idea is credited to Mrs. Zimmerman. "She wanted to see her garden when she arrived home." It is a wonderfully relaxing panorama from about 4 ft. below grade. Sort of a dog's eye view.

Tom
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Appreciate that explanation
Good to know.

Wish I had a shot of this but another piece of razzle dazzle at Zimmerman is
the wood ceiling in the study/bedroom.
Some difficult angles come together there and it is absolutely, beautifully,
and fancifully resolved in gorgeous wood work.
The carpenters had a challenge there I imagine.

Turning the bedroom to the garden - such a simple move -
such a huge difference.

SDR
Posts: 18801
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Mr Wright certainly knew his geometries---and appears to have challenged himself anew in his maturity, as I'm sure he knew the moment he "went off
the reservation" with hexagonal and diamond-shaped plan units. He seems to have known enough not to get himself (and his boys) into impossible
situations, such as colliding two planes of striated board textures in a way that would not allow for correct mitered resolution.

That's frustrating, isn't it Victoria . . . I apologize on behalf of whoever decided that posting would be timed out. You have two chances to recover
your work, if you think fast: you can simply back up from the point where the post disappears, and it will be there---or you can think to copy your work
if you've been at a post for an extended time.

So, thanks for persevering. You appear to have familiarized yourself quite well with your "charge"---just as Spring Green has with hers, Taliesin North.
It's a pleasure to be able to sit here and reap the reward of your diligence.

S

Tom
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

I agree
So this here Victoria person is affiliated with the Currier?

One regretable condition of the contemporary scene is the elimination of millwork.
In terms of contribution to architecural form, factory built windows suck
... in my humble opinion.

SDR
Posts: 18801
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Victoria is a docent at the Zimmerman house . . . and a friend to Wright Chat.

S

Tom
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

That's a VERY knowledgeable docent.

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