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Peter, "prospect and refuge" would be yet another example of the provision for, and the balancing of, opposites in architecture ?
Kevin---exactly. The Beaux Arts symmetrical envelope---perhaps placed in a symmetrical landscape---is a prime example. In the early years Wright can be
seen arranging partitions to align with window divisions on a symmetrical facade. The habit survived into the late career, with uninterrupted bands of sash
serving more than one space---but the forced symmetry was gone by then.
fireplace---and the seating immediately associated with it was often balanced and equal---other furniture in the room would be more freely
(if carefully) placed.
See plans and view drawings of Bradley, Willits, Coonley, etc for examples.
Meanwhile, a nice old photo of Coonley living room with freely placed furniture (and symmetrical patterned rug)Ã¢â‚¬â€œÃ¢â‚¬â€œ
https://www.cca.qc.ca/img-collection/y5 ... 9/2967.jpg
illustrations of such buildings are presented thus, often in three-quarter views . . .
See Constantinos Doxiadis, page one of this thread, re 3/4 views of buildings on the Acropolis.
All of Wright's institutional and commercial work, in the early period at least, is composed of volumes symmetrical about one if not two axes. The
formula returned to repeatedly is the joining of major and minor volumes, each displaying symmetrical features, the total amounting to a form
symmetrical about a single axis. The following exhibit one or both of these features:
Madison Municipal Boathouse, apartments for Waller, Francis Apartments, Hillside Home School, Dana residence and memorial library, Larkin,
Abraham Lincoln Center, Unity Church, Frank L Smith Bank, Cummings Real Estate Office, E-Z Polish factory, River Forest Tennis Club, Como
Orchard Summer Colony, Bitter Root Inn, City National Bank and Hotel, Universal Portland Cement exhibition, Midway Gardens, Imperial Hotel . . .
Considering the importance of this subject to the discussion of architecture---including Wright's---it is surprising to find, in Laseau and Tice, "FLW --
Between Principle and Form," only one page devoted to symmetry/asymmetry. The single page, and its single less-than-satisfying illustration:
The authors go on to address "rotational symmetry" (Suntop) and "inflected rotational symmetry" (Wright's unbuilt studio house).
Norris Kelly Smith, "FLW, a study in architectural content" seems to ignore the subject completely, as does Hildebrand---though that may be beside his
major interest. Yes, we are discussing form and composition, not spacial qualities . . .
FLW was very formal in his early approach, and he spent years getting over it. Winslow is perfectly symmetrical on the street front, but in the back, the porte cochere, stair tower, lone dormer and unbuilt pavilion defy the formality of the front. Nevertheless, classic symmetry pervaded his work throughout the Prairie era. But it was handled differently. Hollyhock is awash with symmetrical elements throughout the house, with axes of symmetry tossed about like Chinese pickup sticks. That apparent formality gets in the way of many who critique the house.
It was when he went to the desert that he set aside symmetry, which he believed was inappropriate for the dotted line of the environment. "There is no place for symmetry in the desert," he said.
of Mr Goodlet's piece is apt: Does it mean anything at all?"
Perhaps my favorite examples of this branch of bogus aesthetic rule-making come from "The Old Way of Seeing," a 1994 volume written by architect (!) named Jonathan Hale. His book contains illustrations like these:
. . . .
And, most hilarious of all---lines emanating from or connected to extraneous objects on the picture plane
that have nothing to do with the subject building ! Is he pulling our leg ? No, he is entirely earnest . . .
subconscious eye of the beholder; I can't say that it doesn't. But I remain highly suspicious of the claim that objects---especially objects of art---might appeal to the
viewer because they contain hidden geometric "truths." Is the proponent of such a theory suggesting that an artist or designer consciously relies on devices like these
---or that he too is unconscious of what he has done ? Proponents of these theories seem vague on that point---as if it was of no consequence to their argument . . .
with an accompanying "explanation." The Stone house mentioned is the third of the sample illustrations in the post above.
"The eye, seeing the finished building, compensates for the differences in distance, to make the necessary connections." Really ? I don't think so . . .