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IÂ´m student of architecture in Belgium. In my school task I have to make a research about the first Usonian House - Herbert Jacobs House 1936 -
I'm looking for Genotype of usonian houses and mainly for the original plans and technical information of this the first made Usonian house.
I'm trying to compare it with other his houses from same time until end of Wrights work and find this kind of connection if it is exist.
If you have any information or advice please let me know.
Thank you very much to everybody
From the above photo, it looks like they just used strapping to hold all the 2 X 4's together.
outside in - thanks for posting the photos. Do you ( or anyone else) know of any source(s) for other good construction photos of Jacobs I? What are the sources for the drawings you posted?
Another case of built-up beams is Sturges. The plan called for 4" x 12" redwood timbers for joists, but they were either too expensive or unobtainable, so the beams were made by doubling 2" x 12" beams. For Jacobs I, it was intentional; for Sturges, it was an accommodation which may not have had FLW's approval.
Along with your astute comments regarding the aesthetics, that's all true, but as far as strength goes the framing design at Jacobs has considerable structural integrity. Wright's clever solution negated the need for increased member size. The stepped 2x4's allowed the thin roof profile he wanted using a single 2x4. The cantilever length of 2x12's or GLB's would require considerable anchorage well into the house, and their depth creates a problem achieving a thin roof.DRN wrote:My understanding was that the (3)2x4 built up rafter was done for cost reasons...2x4's being cheaper and easier/quicker to erect than 12's. A structural engineer I worked with at one time noted that a single 12" member or a glue laminated member would have been stronger, as binding the (3)2x4's with periodic straps or blocking does not cause the pieces to act quite as one.
Strength-wise the more important factor is the sheathed roof diaphragm, especially since it's flat. I don't know if the sheathing thickness is necessarily adequate, but all in all the system is rigid and use of such basic engineering to create something so beautiful was simply ingenious.... even if having to put bookshelves along the walls to stiffen them! I'm not surprised at what Roderick said about the corners. Sounds like a "fence corner" tension design was intended. Bracing was more successful in the polliwog plans. Strength was created wherever the corners folded inside or out, just like with fences.
Sorry for a rant.
Eifler also goes on to mention using flitch plates along with the diagonal bracing to rebuild the corners.
Eifler mentions how they went about solving the "standing water/rotten exterior doors" issue. As part of the rehab, they broke up the original interior slab floor to replace the radiant heating system. When pouring the new slab, they raised it's overall height by 1/2" relative to the outdoor slab. They also had to redo all the doors and jambs due to rot. And when they redid the jambs, they reinforced them with steel tees.
If your interested, the above info is taken from "Fine Homebuilding" issue #81 (1993) pp78-82.
The creep issue could have been addressed (and should have been anticipated) during original construction. The use of separate members made the stepped eave easy and logical to produce; the same effect with a single deep joist would have required a lot of tedious notch cuts. Today, we could easily unite the "loose" 2x4s at their mated edges with poly glue, or by slabbing on 1/2" plywood scabs with nails and glue.
That's a pretty broad task. What would the first of a line be expected to tell us about its younger siblings ? That it served as a prototype, and thus bears a similarity to them in many if not all ways ? What would the researcher expect to find -- similarities and differences ?
Two differences between Jacobs I and all its followers come to mind: One has to do with the exterior treatment, the other with a detail of fixed interior equipment. I wonder if the student can identify both. (No help from the experts, please !)
If it's true that the initial subject -- the quest as stated by the student -- is overly broad, I wonder if readers can suggest ways of narrowing the scope of research and subsequent thesis . .
Yes I know is very broad. That is the reason why IÂ´m trying to analyse Jacobs house the first built usonian. If can we consider this real house as a genotype of FLW definition of usonian houses?
Or it can be said that the genotype existed only in theoretical layer with the theoretical parameters. Which have been modified, transformed and upgraded to new requirements and ambient conditions?
Or if it is also possible to say that FLW had a same one genotype, which he used for usonian houses, for all his houses? For instance for usonian houses he only wanted to keep the parameters and same quality of housing lower? And if in his other projects (.....Fallingwater.... etc...) where it was not necessary, because of the larger budget, he only expanded this or this parameter of the genotype, more how he needed?
Narrowing the scope of research and subsequent thesis can be concrete specification of that parameters which can be possibe to used for comparison. It is possible to find all of them in the Jacobs House or are there any other details that should be taken into account?