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Video: Leaks & maintenance at Marin County CC
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 7129
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 3:08 pm    Post subject: Video: Leaks & maintenance at Marin County CC Reply with quote

Wet Weather Spells Trouble For Leaky Marin Center In San Rafael - [1:53]


David
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SREcklund



Joined: 26 Feb 2013
Posts: 798
Location: Redondo Beach, CA

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worth noting that it's the TAA-executed Veterans Memorial Auditorium and Exhibit Hall, not the Civic Center itself, that is the topic of the video. Can't blame the old man for this one ... Very Happy
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"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." - Frank Lloyd Wright
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18167
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the heads-up. The reporter correctly refers to the building as "Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired" . . .

SDR
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2763
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always thought that the MCCh was originally intended for a dry desert site.
I have no proof of this whatsoever. Just a thought.
The reason, however, is that as originally designed it's nuts for a rainy place like Marin can be sometimes.
Originally, if I'm not mistaken ... and I don't think I am, this building was open to the sky with no curved plexi covers.
Take that and combine it with the fact that in section the balconies recede back
to expose the floor below as you go up.
.... kinda nuts on a rainy day.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18167
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, the MCCC was designed for its present site. And the article refers only to a nearby structure designed by Wright successors.

Bill Schwarz, who helps take care of the former (at least), writes, "It’s a consequence of deferred maintenance; the buildings at "Marin Center" (to be distinguished from Wright’s government buildings at the Marin County Civic Center) are 40 and more years old and have never been cared for very well. They are fragile, like so many things we do, due to various factors—design aspirations, cost restrictions, construction choices . . . "

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9528

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It may have been FLW's intention to leave the roofs open (which would have made controlling rain water easier), but the Plexiglas barrel vault roof is original to the building.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2763
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I thought the plexi was a "fix".
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
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Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another reason why it strikes me as a desert building is the obvious aqueduct metaphor.
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 6087
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The climate of Marin County is considered to be a Mediterranean one, nearly identical to much of Italy. Maybe Marin reminded Wright of his time spent in Italy with Mamah Cheney?...

From Wikipedia:

"Climate
San Rafael has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb), with mild winter lows seldom reaching the freezing mark. The National Weather Service reports that August is usually the warmest month with a high of 80.1° (26.7 °C) and a low of 55.0° (12.8 °C). December, the coldest month, has an average high of 55.1° (12.8 °C) and an average low of 41.0° (5.0 °C). The highest temperature on record is 110° (43 °C), recorded in June 1961. The highest temperature in recent years, 108° (42 °C), occurred on July 23, 2006.[11] The record lowest temperature was 20° (-7 °C) on December 22, 1990. There are an average of 17.9 days annually with a high of 90° or more and 1.2 days with a high of 100° or more. Freezing temperatures (32° or below) occur on an average of 3.6 days.[12]

Total annual precipitation averages 32.16 inches (817 mm). There are normally 64.3 days with measurable rain. The rainy season is from November to early April. Rain is rare outside of this period and it is normal to receive no rain in June, July, August, and September. The most rain in one month was 24.11 inches (612 mm) in January 1995. The heaviest 24-hour rainfall was 8.74 inches (222 mm) on December 11, 1995. A trace of snow was recorded on January 30, 1976."
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The aqueduct connection has always seemed overplayed at Marin. There were hillocks on the property that had to be factored into the construction. The typical architect of the day would have obliterated them with a bulldozer. FLW bridged them in the most obvious way, with arches. That there is a similarity to Roman aqueducts of 2,000 prior is incidental, especially since the exterior walls of Marin are not load-bearing.

FLW over estimated the people of California. He intended the courts to be open to the sky, but even in the mild weather of Marin County, people cannot get along without their air conditioning. If it had been made clear to him that A/C was an essential part, even in the passageways, he might have designed the place differently. The Plexiglas was added after his death.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18167
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://focus.nps.gov/nrhp/GetAsset?assetID=38e726bd-d94f-46fb-9862-31212706576f

"The floors, or malls as Wright called them, of the [C]ivic [C]enter have open light wells that increase in width from bottom to top to permit a generous amount of natural light to enter the building from theroof.

The open wells also facilitate the natural airconditioning of the interior by permitting the air from the offices to be drawn out through them and exhausted through the roof. However, after Wright's death, it was deemed necessary to cover the roof openings with a sky- light.

Wesley Peters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation designed the barrel-vaulted skylight to repeat the adjoining roof forms and to respect Wright's concept of continuous linear space."

http://www.mercurynews.com/portlet/article/html/imageDisplay.jsp?contentItemRelationshipId=6572439

SDR
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JimM



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 1485

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ever notice these incongruous elements? After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake a seismic inspection determined that in the likely event of a significantly larger quake, the two wings of the building could part like the Red Sea. The structure needed to be stiffened from top to bottom with lower shear walls and foundation modifications. 13 years and $24,000,000 later this was the end result.

I can't help but think something integrated with the concave cover could have been worked out and would have been more pleasing. I doubt engineering would have been an issue, but cost might have been. Perhaps the convex sides were intended as counter point to the cover, but IMO, these fail utterly.

Anyone think this was an acceptable compromise?

[img][/img]
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2763
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overplay of aqueduct.
I think I may agree with that because it's also very possible that the metaphor never occurred to Wright for the main reason that you hardly see anything so overtly metaphoric anywhere else in his work.
Yet, there it stands regardless.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18167
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MCCC leaps from hill to hill in the same sense that Fallingwater hovers, that Mile High shoots upward. On the other hand, Johnson Wax just sits there . . .

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9528

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JimM, are you saying the planters that span the court were added after 1989, or are you referring to something else? The planters have been there since the beginning, as an aerial view in Aaron Green's 1990 book shows of the Administration Building under construction (page51).
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