House on Morris' "Seacliff" site still for sale

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Rood
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Post by Rood »

Notice the tremendous difference in drawing technique between the reproductions of Seacliff I and Seacliff II. The trees and shrubs in Seacliff II" are FLLWright ... quick, no hesitation, get-it-done-now. "Seaclilff I", probably Jack Howe.

Tom
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Post by Tom »

The new book by Pfeiffer from Rizzoli states that it was John deKoven Hill who did these finished perspectives.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Image

Image

Seacliff I



Image

Seacliff II

Tom
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Post by Tom »

I've never seen that middle rendering before. Thanks.

Tom
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Post by Tom »


SDR
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Post by SDR »

Heh-heh. Maybe !

I'm interested to know, thanks to you, that it was "Johnny" Hill who did those superb Seacliff drawings. I hadn't been aware that another drafter could take Howe's lead and even surpass him in skill. The building and foliage textures are superb. And the forms are faultless; no problems with elliptical curves here !

(To be precise, the round projecting floor is drawn as if it was an an oval whose long axis aligns with the upper element of the building. When drawing an ellipse which represents a cut through a cylinder, the short axis of the ellipse aligns with the axis of that cylinder. Why isn't that the case here ?)

I would love to know, for sure, that Wright was doing drawings like the Seacliff II sketch. Oddly, there's a bit of the corduroy texture -- here, in vertical -- in this otherwise freehand drawing . . .

SDR
Last edited by SDR on Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Here is a more useful explanation for the distorted discs seen in the Seacliff illustrations above -- from the Wordless Workshop Department:


Image


The truth about any perspective drawing is that, to be complete and accurate, some "straight" lines would actually be drawn as parabolas --
straightening almost completely at their furthest extensions but bending in the zone nearest the observer, where lines from (or to) the left and
right-hand vanishing points converge. Panoramas like the (compressed) one above are rarely seen . . . which relieves the drafter from dealing
with this troublesome reality !

It is true that, as I said, the shorter axis of an ellipse is parallel to the long axis of the cylinder it bisects -- but the plane of that cross-cut appears to tip
as the cylinder moves away from the center of a view like the one above.

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

The large glass lites on the top levels of the Seacliff house are drawn as curved panels, not flat. Wouldn't they have been grand ? Both sets are tall; the lower one seems to span two floors . . .

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Morris isn't a takeoff on Grant. The entire house is contained in the end of the structure; the portion that reaches landward is an exterior approach. It's more of a tower.

Two overlooked projects for Morris are 1956 "Quietwater," a single-floor 'ranch' at Stinson Beach, CA (Mono 8/252-3; Tasch 3/468) and a project for San Francisco (probably on the original site) in Mono 8/196-7 as a 'Guest House' dated 1955; in Tasch 3/514 as just 'House' dated 1957. The latter is a derivation of the much-used Jester scheme, but with two floors.

Reidy
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Post by Reidy »

The Greeks sometimes deliberately canceled out perspective effects, e.g. by bending the ends of a beam or parapet closer so that it would appear as a straight line, or by tapering the columns on the Parthenon outward as they rose so that they would appear perfectly straight. Donald Hoffman in his book on Robie reports that the contractor, a sometime classicist, tried and failed to talk Wright into using the technique on the street-side parapet.
Last edited by Reidy on Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

The drawing labeled Seacliff II, above, doesn't match the "House 2" plans (1957) shown in Taschen, though there are similarities. House 2 (said to be sited closer to the road than Seacliff I but still on steep land) has a carport on the ground floor, topped by a main level surrounded by a colonnade in a rectangular formation, that surmounted by a penthouse level. The Seacliff II drawing seems to show a house placed partway down the cliff, accessed by an elevator tower (?) seen at top left in the sketch.

The site is the second-to-last building lot on El Camino del Mar, the coastal street on this northwestern patch of the city which overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge and the entrance to the Bay. The little figures seen in the drawing would be standing at the top of the last lot; the trees at the right are downhill from Lincoln Park municipal golf course, which has pride of place on this prow of land, making room in its midst only for the Palace of the Legion of Honor Art Museum.

SDR
Last edited by SDR on Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

"House 2" for V C Morris (1957); reinforced concrete w/ steel sash:


Image Penthouse

Roof Terrace; Mr Morris's Bedroom


Image Main

Living Room (dining table at right)
Mrs Morris's Bedroom; Entry; Study; Workspace
Stair from street


Image Lower

Carport
Guest or ____ Bedroom; Guest Bedroom
Loggia and stair


all images © 2009 by TASCHEN GmbH and by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Image
Image


Image


Image
all images © 2009 by TASCHEN GmbH and by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation


Quietwater would presumably have been built on Seadrift Road. The backdrop, the northern reaches of Mount Tamalpais, would in
fact be considerably more dramatic than shown in the illustration . . .

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.9004816 ... 444263,14z

The illustration doesn't depict a hipped roof; rather, there seems to be a gabled roof of two pitches, the steeper one facing the ocean.
The location of the ridge as it transects the chimney masses is the key to that interpretation.

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Mono 8/253 has 4 elevations of Quietwater with hip roof, 6/12 pitch all around. The seaward facade consists of 16.5 concrete rectangles, 6'8" wide by 7'4" tall (the end one wraps around a corner), 7 of which are fixed glazing in the living room, the remaining open as the house steps back, forming a wall 110' long, simple and very handsome. A true MCM!

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Indeed. The house would have been at home with the other single-story houses lining that beach road -- a gem among the lesser creatures of the type ?

There must have been more than one version of the house; the illustration above doesn't even agree withe the plan shown. At the near corner (Mrs Morris's bedroom) the plan shows a solid corner, with a single return, while the view seems to show the mitered-glass corner, with a second step to the wall beyond . . . ? There also appear to be openings in the carport wall, where none exist on the plan.

SDR

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