Frank Lloyd Wright....

Discussion in 'Art & Architecture' started by Val1, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Val1

    Val1 Member+

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    Seems a little pedestrian to start a thread about Wright, given that he is the only architect that over 50% of Americans could even name, but....

    I took the kids today to see Falling Water. 9 hours in a car so we could spend two hours walking the grounds and seeing the building, and it was worth it. For all of the hype the building has received, to a layman like myself, it is still not overblown. Between the house and guest house and all the terraces, I think there are 13 levels to Falling Water. The most striking design element to me is this concrete roof over a walkway that must be 85 feet long. The last 20 feet are cantilevered to the guest house, but the remainder of the roof is supported by only 4 smallish posts... and they are all on one side of the roof. Wright was apparently convinced it would work, never made any trial supports, just built the form and poured the concrete in one go....

    I'm going to go back this summer and take my father-in-law, who has seeing Falling Water on his bucket list, and re-view the house and go see Kentuck Knob, another Wright house just 6 miles away. Looking forward to it already....


  2. b0sk1

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    I would love to see Falling Water so I am a bit jealous. When I was a kid I was a huge lego freak, about 2 years ago my mother thought it would be hilarious to get me a lego set for my birthday and got me Falling Water from their "Architecture" line. It was a fun build but the instruction booklet was probably the best part. It had tons of facts, notes, drawings, and pictures all from Frank that he did while working on the project and made me see it in a entirely different light.
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  3. Boogie_Down

    Boogie_Down Member+

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    Falling Water is on my to-do list this Summer as well.
  4. Val1

    Val1 Member+

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    Make sure you see Kentuck Knob as well.

    http://www.kentuckknob.com/

    Really, it only takes 2 hours to see the house and grounds, and yet you don't feel rushed. So there is time in the day to easily see both. If you want the extended tour, 2 hours in the house as opposed to one, you'd have to sign up for the first tour at 8 or the last tour at 4. Major advantage to the longer tour is that photography inside is allowed on the extended tours.


  5. Boogie_Down

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    Thanks, I'll do that and do the extended tour so I can take photos.
  6. el-capitano

    el-capitano Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice info. Cheers.
  7. Val1

    Val1 Member+

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    I took my dad and my father in law to both Falling Water and Kentuck Knob today for Father's Day.... It's still a very very long way to these homes, but it is still worth it. Falling Water was still incredible and Kentuck Knob was in many ways more interesting. It is one of Wright's Usonian homes, which were meant to be built for Americans of more modest means, but Kentuck Knob was built in the 1950s for $90,000 (excluding land costs) so 0bviously the term "affordable" meant nothing to Wright. But the house is smaller, more compact, and I could very easily see myself living there. I've seen 4 Usonian homes by now and I like them the best of all his stuff.

    Here's google images of Kentuck Knob:

    http://www.google.com/search?tbm=is...6.12.7.0.5.5.0.97.559.7.7.0...0.0.gOFzk3VQf8I
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  8. Val1

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    Guggenheim looking down.jpg Guggenheim looking up.jpg Guggenheim exterior.jpg

    Well, continuing my year of Frank Lloyd Wright, I took the kids and my best friend's kids to see the Guggenheim in New York. Simply amazing. The entire building is one long spiral, and from what I read, Wright intended that the patron to ascend to the top via elevator and then descend. Unfortunately the curators of the show went in the opposite direction...

    The main exhibit was of Picasso, and now I simply cannot ever imagine going to see Picasso anywhere else. If Picasso's work was deliberately fractured, this building mirrors that: there are few right angles, the floor is sloping, and the light that came in, even on an overcast pre-Hurricane Sandy day, was incredible.

    Simply a showpiece.
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  9. Dills

    Dills Moderator Staff Member

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    The only FLW building I've ever seen is in my proverbial backyard. And I'm ashamed to say that, only because I myself am an architect, and have never been out to Falling Water. :oops:

    Anywho, if you're ever in the Philadelphia area, you must check out Beth Shalom in Elkin's Park.

    http://goo.gl/maps/AlQgU

    The exterior is amazing, but the interior is what really does it for me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  10. Val1

    Val1 Member+

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    Continuing on Frank Lloyd Wright.....

    I took my kids to see the Pope Leighy House, a truly humble home of 1100 square feet. I've seen the house before and every time I come away from it, I can really see myself living there. It is the house I want to build when I get to the point that I only need 2 BRs and when I can find a contractor who is willing to help me pirate Wright's oh-so-copyrighted-and-protected design... Oh well...

    Really amazing how he gets a living room with an 11' ceiling in such a low-slung roof. But then, Wright was the originator the "great room" in many ways.

    pope exterior.jpg
    pope side.jpg
    pope living room.jpg
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  11. Val1

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    I continue to pick up FLW buildings. Sort of nice to have something to "collect"...

    This one, coming home from Niagara Falls, is in Buffalo, and is probably the best and most complete early example of what a Prairie Home was. This is the Martin Complex, one of the first homes I've seen where the restorations are still on-going. A large main home, guest home, stable and greenhouse connected by pergola. Over 6 miles of white oak moulding in the house. Very very impressive.

    download1.jpg 2.jpg
    download3.jpg

    As an added bonus, this tour was given by the first person who was not a Wright fan-girl. I think she cared more about the community effort to save and restore the house, as an expression of community itself. Most docents seem to care more about protecting Wright's legacy. It's rather cloying...
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  12. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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    Never saw this thread. Spent a summer house sitting in Oak Park, IL, once. Had a few jogging routes based on what FLW houses I would run by.

    Never did dig the Oak Park Unitarian church he designed, though...

    [​IMG]

    I can, however, highly recommend spending four hours with the Ken Burns documentary, though...


    [​IMG]
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