Article:'7 things you didn't know about the Guggenheim'

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SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

"The entire ramp is 1,416 feet long and it’s set at an 18-degree angle." ? As steep as 18 degrees ?

"The architect commissioned a ceramicist to craft about 25 of these tiles, inspired by seals on Japanese prints, which were placed on his projects that received his personal approval. . ." ? Only 25 ?

S

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

I’ve read that it’s a 3 degree slope.

DavidC
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Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »

"The rotunda’s spiral ramp is a quarter mile long and climbs steadily at a three-degree incline."

(see: ~ 1/3 down the page)
Slope of Rotunda Ramp


David

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

It could easily be estimated by drawing a triangle. Vertical line equal to distance from base to top of ramp, hypotenuse equal to 1,320' (assuming a quarter mile is accurate), then measure the angle where the hypotenuse intersects the horizontal. 18 degrees? I doubt that. Three is closer, but that seems a bit shallow.

loo tee
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Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:35 pm

Post by loo tee »

Whatever the slope of the ramp, three things bother me about the Guggenheim: (1) Wright overestimated the intelligence of the public in conceiving a ramp for a relaxed walk down from the top, and the public insists on walking UP the ramp; (2) He didn't foresee how trendy art museums would become, and designed a ridiculously small elevator to take visitors to the point where the museum was supposed to begin; (3) His elegant design for the oculus, or eye-on-the-sky, was horribly compromised, leaving an incoherent and ugly skylight, which too many people take to be the original design.

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

Post by SDR »

The problem with estimating the angle of the ramp by using a length number---assuming that it is reliable---is that
one doesn't know whether that measurement refers to a mid-line up the ramp, or a measurement
at the circumference of the spiral---or even the inside edge of the ramp ?

Each of these lines would be of a different length, for a given disc or ring, yielding a different height/length ratio . . .



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Roderick Grant
Posts: 10194
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

That is true, SDR, and if you walk the ramp, the difference in slope near the outside edge and the inside edge is noticeable.
I suspect the outer limit is what was used to calculate the length.

The ramp that is a real challenge to navigate is at the David Wright House, as it wraps around the kitchen tower.

The Johnson skylight is one of FLW's most delightful designs.
He was exasperated with the bureaucrats in NYC who wouldn't approve of his design, so he gave them something they couldn't carp about. It's an awkward design, borne of frustration.

SDR
Posts: 19444
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Mmm---that is a steep ramp, isn't it---with a low parapet ?

Wright's low balustrades have the advantage not only of emphasizing the horizontal but of enlarging the apparent scale of the whole structure . . . playing off the perceived size of a standard element ?


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