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task of creating a curved and canted fascia board is a designer who doesn't understand wood---or who is willing to expose his client to the risk
of poor workmanship. It is simply not in the nature of a plank of wood to be bent in that fashion.
(There is many an inexperienced carpenter who is ignorant of the nature of this challenge---until he finds himself in the middle of it. I have met
more than one such. An architect should know better . . . especially an architect who claims to be in tune with "the nature of materials" ?)
I was able to find only one photo showing the curving portion of the Spencer fascia. There appears to be delamination along the lower edge of
the tortured fascia. Perhaps the solution to bending these thick pieces of mahogany, and to curving them into an arc as well, was to make them
of plies ?
If Dan has had the opportunity to observe close-up these pieces of carpentry, I would be most interested to know what he saw. There is a convex
curve to the fascia of the roof over the entry to the site---of a considerably tighter radius. One cringes . . .
The fascia and dentil strip are kerf'd along their back face and screwed to the underlying framing and blocking. The "delamination" seen is a single ply roofing membrane that was adhered to a sacrificial piece of luan stapled to the mahogany fascia during a reroof project in the early 1990's.
The current owner is valiantly restoring the fascia, replacing it as needed, and repairing/replacing any water damaged framing found behind, in preparation for a full reroof project in the spring. Wright's naÃƒÂ¯ve or just plain careless detail of letting a piece of edge flashing into a slot with some caulk at the top edge of the fascia allowed water behind the decorative mahogany to get captured in the blocking and framing behind it.
The second tier of dentils seen in this photo at the curved hemicycle fascia conceals a continuous, and detachable, fiberglass gutter designed and made by Mr. Spencer which collects water from Wright's scuppers and directs the water to an outfall over the edge of the terrace...it makes quite a waterfall during a storm. The gutter was formed on the top of the curved stone terrace wall. This was added to the house, without Taliesin review, sometime in the 1960s. From what was passed down from the Spencers, water from the scuppers was flooding the Zen garden and koi pond Mr. Spencer had fashioned in the terrace's planter. The gutter solved the water issue. The koi pond was filled in soon after however due to local herons from the nearby creek eating all of the koi.
interested to hear about what is there. It would be great to know what is done if and when the primary curved fascia at Spencer is replaced.
A video we have of the house appears to show the trim heavily painted. Do you know of any photos that show these fascias more clearly ? The same
video provided views of furnishings there which carry on the canted/dentil theme:
The earliest curved-plan Usonians, Jacobs II in 1944 and Curtis Meyer (1948) have a single-board plumb fascia. Third is Winn, with a double-board
fascia also vertical and thus cylindrical---though in that case the convex fascia appears to be somewhat faceted. Laurent (1949) has a single broad
plumb fascia. Pearce (1950) is the first built hemicycle with a canted fascia, of a unique profile. Three narrow strips below the canted fascia are plumb.
Marden (1952) reverts to a plumb single-board fascia, with a narrower canted strip below. All exterior boards at Robert Llewellyn Wright, including
those of the four-board roof parapet, are laid plumb. C and G Lewis was drawn with a canted fascia with dentil band; the built house appears to have
only the former, a very slightly canted fascia board. Spencer (1956) is the last of these curved-plan houses---save Lykes, which is not a wooden house.
Wood does not grow or shrink along its length, short of being subjected to ammonia (which can temporarily soften the lignin that binds the longitudinal
cells---not a common practice) so the only way to achieve these canted curved boards would be to start with a wider board, and carve off the excess
width, before the piece is bent. I have to believe that this is what was done in the case of these fascia boards.
A piece of heavy paper or card stock will easily demonstrate the problem, and the necessary solution.
Mr. Spencer described the plain mahogany board interior fascia as Ã¢â‚¬Å“plain and uglyÃ¢â‚¬Â� in a letter to John Howe in the early 1960Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s, seemingly seeking approval to add dentils to the interior fascia. HoweÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reply didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t encourage or discourage the additional dentils at the interior fascia which Mr. Spencer ran with. As the years went on, Mr. Spencer added dentils to every piece of trim imaginable, and to any piece of furniture created by him or his cabinet maker. The current owner is removing all of the added dentils returning the house to the original design intent.
I have a pic or two of removed sections of curved fascia that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll send to SDR.
https://fineart.ha.com/itm/frank-lloyd- ... 071515-smp
https://fineart.ha.com/itm/works-on-pap ... 01-67130.s
The Wainer project appears earlier than expected in Vol 8 of the Monographs (p 55, 1952), where, as in the Taschen appearance (Vol III, p 286), it is
represented by the extended plan. The Monograph adds the elevation page identical with the one offered by Heritage Auctions; Taschen publishes a
birds-eye perspective in color.
The initial plan is an asymmetrical amalgam of hexagonal and triangular elements, assembled on a parallelogram-unit grid.
I have taken 40 screen grabs of the H A sheets. I will assemble a display of images from these three sources, in a dedicated thread.