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Tom
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Post by Tom »

Looking at the Hoult plan on page 3 of this thread
led me to think the Usonian living room is more
directly connected to the Robie House than I would
previously have thought.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Very perceptive. The movement around the central masonry mass and fireplace is remarkably similar in both cases; indeed this condition
exists in all of the early L-shaped Usonians. Behold Robie, Jacobs, and Rosenbaum. One enters the space from behind the chimney, to the
left, and circles this center to exit the room to the right . . .

Note that in all cases, the designer creates an extra obstacle to be overcome, before the visitor can stand before the hearth: a full inglenook
seat with column, an off-center hob, or a vertical brick mass, respectively . . .



Image

Image

Image


In each case, the horizontal spread of space is countered at the core by strong vertical elements. In each case the view, the light, the south
exposure is opposite the entry path, the natural and inevitable objective. In 1909 Wright is intent upon his horizontals; by 1936 he is happy
to let the verticals and horizontals play freely ?

As for the view of the Hoult living room, its unusual banded ceiling might remind one of the Robie ceiling ? Jacobs and Rosenbaum lack this
feature . . .

S

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Perfect comparisons.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Not much has been made, as far as I know, of certain similarities between the medieval European house plan and Wright's Twentieth-century houses.

https://www.antiquehomesmagazine.com/hi ... -colonial/

http://www.jgrarchitect.com/2016/06/the ... -plan.html

The Robie house has a centered chimney; its stair hugs the back of this chimney, as in plans seen on the above-linked pages.

As a bonus, perhaps coincidental, some of Wright's early houses have diamond-pane casement sash, again reminiscent of these Colonial American precursors.
Even the Robie house has a sort of diamond-pane sash design.

Differences between Wright's Twentieth-century houses and the Sixteenth and Seventeenth-century ones are many, of course. The Robie is a multi-story residence,
like many of these early examples---but its main floor is elevated. By the middle of the century Wright has dispensed with a second level and brought his house to the
ground---but the center chimney, a sheltering roof and patterned windows remain . . .

S

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Comparison to the Salt Box plan is clear.
It's such a logical move to center the masonry mass and build around it.
For all of the vaunted Japanese influence on Wright perhaps us Wright lovers
should call this out as the core of the West in his work.
To go all woo-woo, perhaps this type of logic is at the core of why his work
ultimately is not of the East, resonating sub consciously of the West: woo-woo, woo-woo!

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Traditional Japanese architecture handled fire in the home in a very different way, correct?
Tea kettles and stuff like that?

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I can't answer that---yet. Wherever there is combustion, there must be a way to exhaust gasses and particulates. The chimney was an invention that improved on the previous form, a hole in the roof.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimney#/ ... meneas.jpg

There are reasons both for center chimneys and ones at the perimeter of a house---typically on an end wall, where it needn't extend far above the adjacent house framing. What are those reasons ?

S

Reidy
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Location: Fremont CA

Post by Reidy »

One reason to put fireplaces and chimneys in outer walls is that they take up valuable floor space, and this is where they will intrude least. Central fireplaces were the most efficient for heating and cooking, obsolete for both purposes by the time Wright came along. We have to figure that he and his successors put them there symbolically, as the heart and focal point of the home.

dkottum
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Location: Battle Lake, MN

Post by dkottum »

With a central chimney, several surrounding rooms and bedrooms above may use this common chimney. I don't know how many fireplaces shared the same flu, but the old farmhouse I grew up in had one central chimney and one flu for wood burning range/stoves in the kitchen, dining room and two bedrooms on the second floor. A similar arrangement on the other side of the house vented stoves in the living room, bedroom, and another bedroom above. We had one oil burning stove that heated the whole house fairly well, and used one of those chimneys.

I have read that at least some old Japanese farmhouses with thatched roofs had no chimney, only an open fire for cooking and heating. The rising smoke would filter through the thatched roof helping to keep it dry and repel insects and rodents. Is this true?

dkottum
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Post by dkottum »

Rather, flue.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

https://www.facebook.com/machiyajapan/p ... 048772207/

https://mykyotomachiya.com/kyomachiya/

A “Hibukuro� (�袋) above the kitchen serves as a chimney, carrying smoke and heat away, and as a skylight, bringing light into the kitchen

S

yellowcat
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Location: Hagerstown, MD

Post by yellowcat »

It is interesting that in US residential architectural history, that central chimneys are predominately found in the northern climate zones. As you travel farther south the chimneys are moved farther outward. Along the Mason Dixon Line many have the fireplace/chimney built only partially outside the building envelope, half or more of the masonry structure is projected into a room. But, in the far south the entire chimney was usually constructed exclusively on the outside of an outer wall, or even moved completely outside to a summer kitchen.

I doubt that there was very much heat from a fire that would be radiated from a chimney mass above the firebox. Perhaps, this was just an emotional response from the builder/designer who was probably very conscious of the climate conditions around him/her, before other non wood means of heating and cooking were available.

I suppose though that in the northern climate regions folks would have many more cold days that they would need to gather around a central hearth and more space would be allotted in the structure for that purpose.

Reidy
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Post by Reidy »

Some of Wright's LA houses bear this out. The principal fireplaces in Hollyhock, Freeman and Ennis are all built into exterior walls. At Ennis it's in a hall, not in the living room at all.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

The locations of FLW's chimneys are always associated with the path from front door to living room fireplace. It's hard to be absolute about such things without scouring the history, but until Glasner the chimneys were located in the heart of the house. Then Horner-Walser-DeRhodes-Barton came along with outside wall chimneys, and more followed. Eventually there is his greatest fireplace in the Taliesin living room, on an outside wall.

Central heat goes back to the late 19th century, right? So I would bet all of FLW's locations of chimneys were based on design rather than utility. The image of a protective source of warmth was more important than the reality of it.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

One aspect of Wright's fireplaces to be addressed in any future treatment would be the location of each house and the climate data for that geographic
region. Does the size of a firebox, and the proximity of the fireplace to built-in seating, accord with the expected temperature range associated with the site ?

Without that close a look, we can note that the inglenook near the fire was a feature of a number of early houses, while in the Usonian era a row of seats
might or might not be located conveniently to the fire. To what can we attribute this apparent nonchalance in the matter, in the last decades of the career ?

S

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