St Marks Drawing Sequence

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Tom
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St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by Tom »

Avery Archive Project No.: 2905
Drawing Number 2905.016
https://www.flickr.com/photos/54449844@ ... ateposted/

In this file there are a handful of drawings that give the sense of being Wright's initial concept sketches for the project.
I've posted 2905.016 to my Flickr account with the following question: what was the drawing sequence?

Did Wright draw A the major cross axis first or B did he draw a rotated 40' sided square first and then the cross axis.?
A seems like the intuitive choice but if so how was the 40' sided square determined?

7/13 This is a test:
Image
Last edited by Tom on Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:19 pm, edited 9 times in total.

Roderick Grant
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by Roderick Grant »

Definitely A.

Tom
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by Tom »

But why and if so how would that square eventually be determined?
Or to put it another way - if the cross axis was drawn first what was the next line?
He's definitely working with a 30/60 here.

SDR
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by SDR »

Need more information: what does the 40' square represent ? Is that the building footprint ?

Any design, to be truly organic, must grow from the seed; next comes the stem and leaves, then the bud and flower---right ? A building designer would need to know what functions are required to be included, and how much room is reasonable, legally required, or otherwise determined, for each of those functions---and to work out usefully, without detours or backtracking, those functions will begin at or near the center of the object being designed, and proceed outward, dimensions again determined by the above criteria and perhaps by a predetermined maximum size or envelope.

S

DRN
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by DRN »

My understanding of the St.Mark’s towers was that Wright’s rotated grid was in response to the site. If one looks at an NYC map, the St.Mark’s church yard is bounded by E. 10th to the south, 2nd Ave to the east, E. 11th to the north, and Stuyvesant St. to the southeast.

I believe Stuyvesant’s pre-NYC Street grid alignment was reflected in Wright’s plan for the towers as the rotated square. I’m not sure if Wright’s choice to make this formal move was for exterior aesthetics, spatial drama within, solar orientation, opportunities for resident views, or all of the above.

Tom
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by Tom »

Ha! I see that. Did not know this.
That corner might as well be a 30/60 triangle and from what I can tell the tower is generated from some downright wicked 30/60 triangle manipulation.

Tom
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by Tom »

..... a second look and I think that the cross axis of E 10th + 2nd Ave., along with the triangle made by Stuyvesant is the geometrical "germ" of the project. It translates directly to these early concept sketches. Seems too direct to be a coincidence.

Roderick Grant
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by Roderick Grant »

Don't confuse St. Mark's with Price; St. Mark's was strictly residential, with no commercial areas. This sketch features the basic square divided into quadrants, only one of which is developed. The other three would be identical. The 30-60-90 comes from the relationship of the lot and church to the standard N-E-S-W coordinates (assuming the length of Manhattan is due north, instead of an inconvenient NE) of the cross axes. The 40' relates to the 5' grid, five feet being a common grid for high-rise structures. The grid is shifted off 15", so the square can be divided into 15 half-units of 30", with 15" at the corners for mitered glass windows. Note the central core with the 4 parallelograms, two at the top for stairs, two at the bottom for elevators. Those elevators are considerably more capacious than the tiny Price elevators.

Tom
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by Tom »

Check this out ya'll:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/54449844@ ... ateposted/

Probably have to acknowledge something at least to Sullivan.
Remarkable to me at any rate within the context of St Marks

Roderick Grant
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by Roderick Grant »

That is a bronze plaque showing the orientation of Coonley relative to due north. It was placed near the reflecting pool.

Tom
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by Tom »

Roderick,
Was it actually executed? ... and can be seen there now?

Tom
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by Tom »

Preliminary sketch for Coonley bronze:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/54449844@ ... otostream/

the freehand lines of the rotated axis seem to be derived from diagonals of rectangles that make up the orthogonal cross axis (an awkward mouthful I know, but one is forced to use words unfortunately).

Roderick Grant
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by Roderick Grant »

Both illustrations appear in Mono 9/plates 101 & 102, which is all I have ever seen of it, so I assume it was never made.

Tom
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Re: St Marks Drawing Sequence

Post by Tom »

Roderick - Somehow I'm assuming you've seen the Price Tower. I may be wrong. I have not been there myself. But do you know if this bronze plaque was executed and installed at the center of the lobby floor?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/54449844@ ... ateposted/

I've been looking in the Price Tower file in the Foundation Archives. Some further questions:

The drawings indicate a lush planted "green" roof covering the entire surface of the lower office building that the tower rises out of. Was that actually executed?

Second - only one quadrant of the building appears to be apartments. The other three are offices. Is that consistent with what you know.


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