Usonian Cantilevers

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gwdan
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Post by gwdan »

Fallingwater... Usonian???

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Well, I think the topic was given a bit of lattitude, right from the start ?

Wait, I like this better: Well, it's got a flat roof, doesn't it ?

But, to those with the most expansive definition of Usonian -- for whom much if not most of the residential work of the 'forties and 'fifties should be included -- Fallingwater would be the queen of the Usonian parade -- and Wingspread the king ?

SDR
Last edited by SDR on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

But you're right -- we should perhaps stick to the more limited-definition Usonians -- the brick and cypress ones, with a few excursions into stone or desert concrete, and redwood, pine or mahogany boards. . .

Now, can a pitched-roof house be a Usonian ?

SDR

wjsaia
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Post by wjsaia »

gwdan wrote:Fallingwater... Usonian???
SDR wrote:But you're right -- we should perhaps stick to the more limited-definition Usonians -- the brick and cypress ones, with a few excursions into stone or desert concrete, and redwood, pine or mahogany boards. . .

Now, can a pitched-roof house be a Usonian ?

SDR
Personally, I have been a bit uncomfortable to observe discussion that uses the narrow definition, because I think it misleads with respect to FLlW's intentions in the latter 1930s, 40s, and 50s.

I'll repeat here a story that I like. I think it illustrates that FLlW’s interest in solving the problem of designing modest houses for "Usonian" families of modest means ought not obscure his equally devoted interest in designing houses for those of any economic level, including the very wealthy. The Hannas' house comes to mind as one for a family of upper middle class means; Fallingwater for a family of greater means. Much of the basic construction detailing of the Hanna house is very similar to the Jacobs house; it's larger and has greater geometric complexity in plan layout and, of course, has pitched roofs. All three of these projects were done at nearly the same time for families of "Usonia" that had a wide range of financial resources available, and each is aesthetically rich in ways that matter.

It occurred at Taliesin that an apprentice came forward with a question along these lines: “Mr. Wright, would you say that the Pew house represents a ‘poor man’s Fallingwater’?�

Without hesitation FLlW’s response was, “No, I would say Fallingwater is a rich man’s Pew house.�

Personally, I think it’s a revealing story and worthy of reflection.

I wasn’t present; this was told to me by a reliable source. (Don’t quote me.)

WJS
Last edited by wjsaia on Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Paul Ringstrom
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Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

SDR,
Yes, I believe that current practice is for pre-stressed concrete beams, used in bridge construction, call for an unloaded beam to have a camber.

Since Fallingwater's concrete beams were poured in place this was not possible. They also pre-dated the concept of pre/post-tensioning.

egads
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Post by egads »

The story is, they were supposed to be built that way, but by mistake, were built level.

modjohn
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Location: Missouri

Post by modjohn »

Regarding the Usonian cantilevers - I am very interested in any information, drawings or pictures regarding how the site managers actually built these. I know there were site modifications made that Wright was not informed of.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

In May of 1990, Old House Journal magazine published a six-page article on the re-roofing of the Goetsch-Winckler residence. Member DRN was kind enough to forward his copy to me, as I had expressed an interest in learning and sharing some facts about the unusually daring asymmetrical carport cantilever. I have not found a way to effectively summarize the information I found in the text and iillustrations, so I am presenting the entire article here, at or slightly over original size. This edition of the magazine may or may not be out of print at this point (I haven't checked with the publisher lately) -- read fast, as I could be asked to remove the material.

"© 1990 by Old House Journal Corporation."


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JimM
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm

Post by JimM »

SDR wrote:Do you mean that the terraces-cantilevered-off-a-cantilever could have been constructed "high," with the expectation that they would settle with time to a more or less straight line ?

SDR
Yes; "time" as Alfred said, is relative. Upon removal of supporting structure, the cantilever is intended to settle more or less where intended. Of course, that is also "relative". The direct load of the bedroom terrace cantilever above was much more serious, requiring the recent post-tensioning.

modjohn
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:32 pm
Location: Missouri

Post by modjohn »

Thanks for posting the article about the roof restoration. This is the kind of information I was looking for. Anyone know of any similar information regarding other Usonian homes?

Thanks.

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Revisiting G/W I came back to the roof renovation article.
Seems the renovation architect planned the Trellis restoration as Alternate - A:
and included steel plates bolted to alternate rafters cantilevering the trellises.

But the construction photograph on page 43 has me bewildered again.
Sure we've been here before but can't find where.
Anyway, the builder put steel in this roof contrary to drawings:
Do I see correctly that there is smaller steel connected at 90 degrees
to the larger 10" Flange beam?
That is a VERY heavy roof and
If so, something MUST take that rotation.
And look at the main wood rafters 90 degrees to that 10" beam?
wtf?

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I gave up trying to interpret what's going on, using the photos of the exposed roof structure. The article -- our only access to this interesting job -- lets the reader down badly in conveying what was found, despite the drawing and description -- in my opinion.

I find that it is all too easy to believe one has adequately described a condition verbally, when in fact one has done no such thing. Proper pictures -- photos and/or drawings -- are the remedy, as I see it, and these don't do the trick, for me.

I can attest to the inadequacy of relying on those doing the work to also record it, in many cases; I've found myself lacking in this regard, on many a job. One's energy is spent on the work, and one has to shift gears -- often at the end of a hard day -- into photographer mode, and this isn't easy. Having an independent individual aboard to do the photography is the solution, and that has to be arranged well in advance -- and paid for.

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Here are enlargements of the drawing seen above:


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Tom
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Post by Tom »

Ah, much better.
So the restoration architect added steel pipe
to the trellis not steel plate.
I can't quite make out the note: "1-1/4" Galv. Schedule (?) 2/10 Pipe (typ)...
Would be interesting to see that detail.

Second, how is the architect designating the steel beam?
His typical notation says: "10 WF 22"
I'm not familiar with that.
How is it read?

...The renovation contractor Don Price in the article describes the original steel beam as a 10" Flange beam.
He does not mention it's depth.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I read the note as 1 1/4" GALV. SCHED 40 PIPE. (TYP.)

With wide-flange steel shapes, the second number is the weight per foot. A W10x22 has a depth (height) of 10.17", a flange of 5.75"., and a web thickness of .24".

SDR

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