1997 Life Dream house

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dkottum
Posts: 425
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 8:52 pm
Location: Battle Lake, MN

LDH/Improving architects' designs

Post by dkottum »

gdf, any efforts by you or anyone else to rescue a FLLW building is appreciated by all on this board, and we are thankful. The problem is that any alterations to any architect's design potentially compromises the aesthetic, and maybe structural, qualities of the building.



FLLW often specified linoleum countertops, and if granite was available, he probably would not have used it. As an example, he would often try to match the edge profile of counters with other similar elements, such as shelving and even roof fascias. The countertop surfaces may coordinate with similar surfaces, such as floors and furnishings. This attention to detail is essential FLLW.



The other issue is upgrading. If the house is a usonian, the idea was to create the most possible beauty with the least costly materials, and the least possible variety of materials. Simple, inexpensive, but poetic design. A granite countertop in an otherwise perfectly coordinated symphony of materials may be a sour note.



Further, Wright had no time for those who would attempt to alter his designs as they were built. Sometimes, if the client insisted on a change that he did not like, he would simply tell them they can do any thing they want, but they will not have a Frank Lloyd Wright house when they are done.



Doug Kottom, Battle Lake

hypnoraygun
Posts: 561
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:28 pm
Location: Missouri

How's it coming along?

Post by hypnoraygun »

Michael, we haven't heard anything in awhile. How is the progress of your home coming along? I would love to hear about it!

Michael Shuck
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:31 pm
Location: Wichita, KS

Kansas LDH Update

Post by Michael Shuck »

I'll give a review here of what's been happening on my LDH. As you remember, I went to California last summer to tour the original LDH and took over a hundred photos for documentation purposes for later. I had the paper drawings converted to CAD files. I then spoke with one of the Wright Chat members here who is a former Taliesin apprentice, FTA. He currently lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I took the plans with the corrections suggested by the original owner, and FTA and I went to Taliesin West to visit John Rattenbury. It was my opinion that John was willing to spend half an hour to an hour to visit with us. He could not sign off as the architect of record because he does not have a license in Kansas. But he looked over the changes I'd made to see if there were any changes in the aesthetics of the house. He saw none. And he added dozens of other changes. He spent five and a half hours with us! We changed to tuxes and had drinks in FLW's living room. Then we moved to the cabaret area and had a wonderful dinner, music and speeches. It was awesome! We spent that night at the Arizona Biltmore, and the next morning, went to church at the Christian church which FLW designed, but was not built until many years after his death. We went back to the Biltmore where we met an architect from the area and talked about FLW! Then back to Kansas. I met with FTA in Stillwater, Oklahoma, last week to ensure I understood John's plan changes. Next week, a draftsman will enter all the changes made into the CAD files so that, when done, the final "final" plans will be finished. I was in the process of enlisting a contractor who seemed interested in doing a good job instead of a crappy job like the others I'd interviewed, but my attorney read the contract and suggested I not sign it. So, currently, I am seeking an honest contractor who will build it the right way and not to the current levels of acceptibility seen in most residential construction today. The next task is to have the building site surveyed. I brought a satellite photo of my property just east of Wichita, Kansas, to John, and he drew on it the areas where he felt the house would be best built and then drew the orientation on the property that he felt worked best. The property is 92 acres, so there is plenty of room for landscaping! Will keep you informed as things progress....Mike

FTA
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 7:56 pm

Post by FTA »

Mike - Thanks for the update and it's been a BLAST to be on this part of the journey with you. John Rattenbury is a remarkable person and well respected in Scottsdale as an accomplished architect (according to a cousin who is principal in a well established Scottsdale architecture firm). Those unfamilar with his work and wisdom need to take a closer look at the man and his legacy.



For those unfamiliar with the First Christian Church in Phoenix, it was part of a much larger seminary campus intended for Phoenix, built in stages in the 70's. It is magnificent and has been well maintained and respected. I was at Taliesin during various phases of construction. Having also spent countless hours in the archives with Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer and others documenting original drawings to film, I have a perspective on drawings-in-drawers vs. those still being realized.



Irrespective of the varioius opinions of whether Wright's buildings should still be constructed or not, it sure is more thrilling to be in a completed work that many, many others can enjoy then to be restrained from (or be one of the rare few who) ever having access to original designs and drawings tucked safely in vaulted care and never have the opportunity to experience, much less see, these creations. I for one don't oppose the legacy program, yet there is the valid concern over who will interpret Wright's intent once those closest to him eventually pass on. Can that torch stay lit?

FTA
Former Taliesin Apprentice

JIRISH91
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 4:39 pm

1997 LIFE DREAM HOUSE FLORIDA

Post by JIRISH91 »

I have been following this chat for awhile now but unable to join until the new DSL was installed. I am now able to access membership. I know it has been asked before, but I haven't seen an answer: Is there a list of the 1997 Dream Houses that have been built? We are getting ready to build our's in Florida (MAY 2007) and I would like to know of others that have been built. I have seen the ones, online, in CanoeBay and GoldMountain. Any homeowners have pictures posted somewhere? How about Michael from Kansas. Construction was supposed to start last month. Anything happening? Thanks.

Michael Shuck
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:31 pm
Location: Wichita, KS

LDH House in Kansas

Post by Michael Shuck »

The contractor for LDH to be built here in Kansas was simply not prepared for the job. So, I essentially released him from the project before any work had commenced. I am currently awaiting a bid from a local contractor who is very familiar with FLW and his legacy apprentices and their work. The problem, and this is such an old theme, is the cost. To be done right, the contractor has issued me a

SDR
Posts: 18834
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

It's good to have an update on your plans, Mike. Sounds like you had the full experience in Arizona ! Those of us who will probably never build -- and the rest as well -- are surely envious.



I hope you will be able to have your deam. Would selling some of the 92 acres make it possible to "do it Wright" ? I imagine you've thought of that. . .



Please continue to keep us posted. Every good house built is one less piece of ____ on the land !



SDR

Blue135
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 5:43 pm

Howdy

Post by Blue135 »

I would also like to know if there is a list of sorts of the LDH that have been built over the years. My Dad is builder/electrician and has built the LDH and another FLW designed home. I currently have a set of plans for the LDH and have made my own design from it on a program I have on my laptop. I love the LDH from the first time I seen the plans for it. I would love to find the actual Life Maganize for which it was featured. Thanks for any info you guys may have.



Blue

robinlarry
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:23 pm

Other LDHs

Post by robinlarry »

Before we built out LDH, we visited one in Lexington, Virginia and a second in Ripley, W.V. I recall there also were houses in Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Ours is in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Anyone interested in visiting is certainly welcome.

Michael Shuck
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:31 pm
Location: Wichita, KS

Mitered Windows

Post by Michael Shuck »

When I was at TW last November, John Rattenbury suggested I add a corner mitered window to the small bedroom. I love the looks and how they open up a room, so, of course, I was delighted he'd made the suggestion. Now, in studying these, I have not been able to find a source that shows how to construct one of these using Thermopane. It may be ludicrous, but I don't want to use single-pane glass if I can help it because the frame trim will be subject to sweating from the glazing condensation. I don't want to have to deal with any destruction of the wood frame or trim due to condensation of the single pane glass. Is it possible to find or have mitered Thermopane windows? Does anyone out there who has single pane mitered windows have trouble with passage of cold air and condensation, or is this a problem that doesn't exist? As much as I understand FLW was unhappy with the Thermopane company, I do know that some FLW houses did have Thermopane windows. I'm just unaware of any that might have been mitered...Mike

SDR
Posts: 18834
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I would be astounded (and pleased) to find that anyone had made such a window with just the glass bent (or cut and "welded") to make the corner. The only existing way that I know of would be to have the opaque edge condition of the Thermopane ("insulating glass," generically) exposed -- twice -- at the corner.



Anybody ? Call Mr Rattenbury, Mike ?



SDR

flwright
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:32 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Post by flwright »

A while back, a co-worker and I were talking about a mitered glass window detail that he had used on a residence back in the late 60's. I've posted a very quick sketch of the conceptual detail on my Flickr site.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/48418400@N00/518687949/



It's not single pane glazing and it's certainly not insulated either, but the two panes of glass create a cavity in which condensation can safely occur. The cavity would allow condensation to collect on the inner pane of glass (rather than on the wood frame) and drain through the holes drilled in the jamb and sill. These holes would also serve to ventilate the cavity and keep it from fogging up in temperature differentials.



Pros -- you get a mitered glass corner window



Cons -- the window must be built from scratch, you are relying solely on sealant to keep water out (it'll break down over time and how do you service the bead inside the cavity?), the drain holes provide access to bugs and dirt, the insulating value of the window is far less than modern windows and there is no warranty so who knows how long the window would hold up over the long term.



According to my co-worker, the window detail did stand up fairly well in comparison with the other windows on the project at the time (we're also talking about 60's quality windows here). The window was suposedly protected by a very generous roof overhang as well, keeping it sheltered from the elements, which probably helped its durability a great deal.



This may not be exactly what you're looking for, but it may be the compromise between single pane and insulated glazing. I hope this helps you out, or at least stirs up some more ideas and conversation until an solution is found.
Morgan

Michael Shuck
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:31 pm
Location: Wichita, KS

Mitered Window

Post by Michael Shuck »

Morgan, I thank you so very much! Sure appreciate it! Mike

SDR
Posts: 18834
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Good one, Mr Lanigan. Today's silicone sealants, used all the time in (usually) commercial butted (frameless) glazing, should be reliable.

It's still true that those sealants are applied to +- 1/2" glass, after the glass is in place, and would normally be accessible from both sides of the glass. But with glass at least 3/16" thick, I would think that the sealant could be applied without resorting to a surface bead as shown in your fine sketch ? This should make a fairly invisible corner, I would think.



Anybody know which methods were used by Taliesin, and when silicone became available to them ?



SDR

RJH
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:33 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Contact:

Post by RJH »

Haynes has 5 mitered corner windows in the compact house. The ones in the great room are a massive floor to ceiling mitered corner windows. Also, one of the clearstory windows has a mitered corner window in it too. The affect is tremendous. They are also not difficult to construct.



I was told Pella used to manufacturer Themopane mitered corner windows. I was told they were VERY expensive and they stopped making them.



During my Wingspread tour the curator told me Wright designed a Thermopane window for the design. Unfortunately, the manufacturer had trouble manufacturing them so Wright used single pane windows.



Single pane windows will sometimes sweat in winter. I met with Dr. Christianson at his house for 2 hours in dead of winter. He told me Wright was aware of the sweating issue so he added more coils of radiant floor heating pipes around the French doors and windows to counteract this. I didn

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