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Here is the entry for the project, found in Taschen III:
First, here are 12 stills made by modeler Hugo A Avila Delgado, of his digital model of the Wheeler project, as posted recently to Stan Ecklund's facebook group "Wright Sites." Mr Delgado
presumably referred to the Heritage Auctions drawings for his data . . .
Here are 12 of the 31 screen grabs I made, of details from the Wheeler sheets.
Unusual details include, on the plan, a long and narrow workshop space
within the bedroom wing; the tapered rafter tails to the roof framing, and
the tapered planks cladding their soffits; a novel method of glazing the fixed
and the operating perf panels; and the fascia trim. The perf pattern is a
variant on that for the Carleton Wall residence.
On the site plan, the workshop space is connected to the adjacent terrace
via a series of openings, which do not appear on the floor plan drawing.
So the flooring scheme has 4 different grade elevations inside. Looking through Storrer's book, I didn't see any single-story Usonian that had more than 2 interior grade levels....
The rendering shot #4 is particularly glorious. Nice work Mr. Delgado. Those terrace stairs really make the yard feel sociable.
Hanna (original build)
McCartney (as fully expanded)
Sondern (as expanded)
Gillin (servants' wing)
You may be misreading the levels on the Wheeler plan; the inserted section drawings at the three stairs are helpful. I read (plan immediately above):
shop lowest; bedrooms two risers up; entry/studio level two more risers; living/dining/workspace two more, for four levels altogether. Mr Wright's clear
preference was to have these houses hug the ground, with the slab(s) poured onto a minimum of fill. An elevated floor would generally ride atop a
useful lower level, except in cases where a single floor level throughout the plan was a requirement.
drawings as these are valued for their Wright signature alone---by some with the wherewithal to purchase them.)
But the section drawings here show interior elevations, and one can be confident that a given wall will appear the same on both faces. Unfortunately,
there are at least three versions of the house here, with variations unique to each. The plans vary, in size and shape of rooms; the section drawings do
not show the final roof fascia design; the exterior wall of the shop morphs, etc etc. Modeler Delgado---who deserves our sincere thanks--had some
choices to make in translating the Taliesin drawings; he seems to have made a consistent and worthy series of decisions ?
that site. Less material (fill, and often a masonry "plinth") will not be required. Not so obviously, the offset of floor levels can translate into a comparable
offset of roof planes, providing more room for clerestory bands without the necessity of extra interior height in the rooms so lighted.
I for one find level changes to be a rewarding addition to the spacial array in a building. Those with disabilities ("differently abled," we are encouraged
to say) may not be so pleased by these "amenities." And there are certainly exceptions to be found among Wright's later houses:
Photo of the Hagan residence by Bill Buck
photo of the Boswell residence by Juergen Nogai
I mentioned the fascia design as one of the "unusual" features at Wheeler; in fact there are a number of postwar Usonians with a version of this fascia. (Prewar Usonians with their flat roofs have plain and plumb fascia boards.)
Starting with Melvyn Maxwell Smith in 1946, the following (built) houses have the sort of fascia seen on the final Wheeler drawings---with or without the dentillated lower band. Smith and Wheeler were two of the earliest examples.
Christian (before being covered with formed copper)
Zimmerman and Brandes have slightly modified versions of this fascia, differing in proportion or in placement of the lower portion. Of these Brandes has the dentils, Zimmerman does not.
At Harold Price, Jr this fascia is copper-clad. Teater and others have modified versions; at Teater, Hagan, Hoffman, Bott, and Stromquist the dentil band is parallel to the upper canted board, rather than plumb.
Carl Schultz has a parallel lower band decorated with a row of circles. A couple of others have a very narrow lower band, while a few more have simple one-board canted fascias.
For comparison, see also the Wheeler details. This type of dentillated molding doesn't required a zillion separate blocks of wood, as the
detail is milled into a continuous band. Of course, a conventional dentil detail might be managed in the same fashion.
The Spencer fascia has the canted upper board, while the Exhibition House has a plumb board above its recessed dentil band. Are there
other built examples of this last variant ? (Another study could be made, looking at all the unbuilt designs---which would include Wheeler.)