This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

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modern-eyes
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:24 pm
Location: Bergen County NJ

This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

Post by modern-eyes »


modern-eyes
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:24 pm
Location: Bergen County NJ

Re: This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

Post by modern-eyes »


Rood
Posts: 1249
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Re: This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

Post by Rood »

See your point, exactly. Makes a person wonder why Mr. Wright didn't turn the smaller fireplace at a 90 degree angle ... to
face the seating. Surely that big pier would have been large enough to accommodate a fairly substantial fireplace.

If it were my good fortune to own and live in the house ... that's the first thing I'd change, FLLW or no FLLW. Even today it wouldn't be that difficult to correct. Don't know how the flues work, but it wouldn't take much to tear out the little steel lintel and put in another at right angles ...

PS: I did a similar trick in the house in which I now live ... Tore out the ugly white quartz stones fronting the fireplace, lowered the hearth to just above floor level (it was about 18 inches above the floor, which left a person's feet mired in a cold sink, not matter how close he was to the fire), purchased a new 9 foot long steel lintel, whose free end turned in a 9" long right angle ... embedded both ends in the concrete block walls ... placed a row of bricks along the length of the lintel, and built a false wall above ... to the ceiling. Above that 9 inch section I kept a slatted opening containing a string of the small Christmas lights, to cheerfully and physically demonstrate the falseness of the new wall ....

Now the fireplace looks like a FLLW fireplace. It's a delightful place to warm one's feet and to have meals on cold winter days. In fact there's a fire burning in it right now. Arizona has suddenly turned both rainy and chilly

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

Post by Roderick Grant »

Rood, if you draw an elevation of the Schwartz fireplaces and look carefully at them, the solution FLW chose is the only one that works from a design standpoint. To put one fireplace perpendicular to a neighboring fireplace is not a good idea. I doubt whether the people gathered in the nook would like to spend their time gazing at the fire in silence rather than conversing. The fireplace is there as a backdrop. Its size says it is not an important feature of the room, which focusses on the seating that that the You Tuber dislikes so much.

DRN
Posts: 4252
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Re: This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

Post by DRN »

Exactly.
Not all fireplaces are meant to be the focus of a room or the primary activity of the room’s occupants. The background sound, scent, and reflected flicker in the room are often enough to set the mood without huddling around the fire as one might in a cold dark forest or a prehistoric cave.

That there are two fireplaces in the same house with very different designs, actually makes clear that Wright designed these with intention based on the character or intended uses of the spaces themselves.

It should also be noted that the glass in a Usonian house reflects the fireplace(s) such that in my house for instance I can see the fireplace from some spots in the kitchen and dining area.

Rood
Posts: 1249
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Re: This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

Post by Rood »

Gosh, if people would be satisfied with the reflection of a fire in a window ... they would easily be satisfied by the reflection of a fire from the main living room fireplace, without needing to build a separate fire ...No, this second fireplace was an afterthought .... It may seem entirely appropriate and look great in plan, but that's about it.

And it's not that Mr. Wright didn't successfully design back-to-back fireplaces before .... Indeed, there are two at Taliesin, both found on the plan of Taliesin found on page 144 of 'Wright: 1917-1942' At different times I've built fires in both ... or, to be more precise ... in all four. Mr. Wright once said that he loved to see a fire burning deep in the masonry of a fireplace.. and I'm sure he didn't mean seeing only a fire reflected in a window.

A fire is not just something to look at. This is Wisconsin, after all, and the entire extent of one wall of the living room is essentially glass ... single-pane glass. In that it's not unlike both Wisconsin houses built for the Jacobs family.

Susan (Jacobs) once told me that they had to huddle around their fireplaces on the coldest winter days.. just to stay warm. If that didn't work, the children would run back and forth from one end of the house to the other. She and I did the same thing one cold winter day in the office at Taliesin West.

So ... if one can't see the fire while seated in the alcove of the Schwartz House ... or feel it's warmth .... unless standing in front of the fire or seated on the floor ... the fireplace as built has no real purpose. Alas, in this case Form and Function are not one.

DRN
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Re: This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

Post by DRN »

To be clear, my point was that the fire can be perceived in a room even when not huddled in front of it. It is nice to see the reflection of the fire in the glass from a number of positions at the dining table...not the same experience as in the living room, but it does allow me to know when to excuse myself from the table to put another log on the fire during dinner.

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

Post by Roderick Grant »

"Afterthought"? No, it wasn't. Look at the September 1938 issue of Life Magazine for the original plan, which has two spacious fireplaces back-to-back. It was an element of the design from the beginning. What was altered for Schwartz was the use of the space, which is identified as a library, a space wherein one is more likely to read a book than lounge in front of a fireplace. That would be a logical reason to minimize the fireplace. Nor is Schwartz back-to-back, but both in the same plane with the brick wall between, not unlike the contemporary Lloyd Lewis House, where two fireplaces, one huge, the other small, are placed on the same wall, but that time in two completely separate rooms with a door between them. The Taliesin fireplaces you mention are different; they relate to entirely different spaces and are centered in their respective rooms, while Schwartz is basically a large, single room.

Wingspread is a massive version of a multi-"fireplaced" structure, with 5 fireplaces in 4 directions. FLW did not hesitate to provide however many fireplaces were needed or desired, in a group or individually, but he would never do a fireplace as an afterthought.

DavidC
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Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Re: This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

Post by DavidC »


pmahoney
Moderator
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Schwartz house is a downsized derivation of Graycliff

Post by pmahoney »

The back to back fireplaces at Schwartz are a derivation of the back to back fireplaces in the living / dining areas at Graycliff. Wright explored several orientations for the two fireplaces there but built a configuration with the smaller fireplace at a 45 degree angle to the larger fireplace.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 11154
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

Post by Roderick Grant »

But the difference between Schwartz and Graycliff is that the living and dining rooms at Graycliff are two distinct spaces, and the chimney is perpendicular to the exterior wall, making the fireplaces back-to-back, while Schwartz' fireplaces are not at all 'back-to-back' but inline, with the so-called library merely an alcove created by the stub wall, without which two fireplaces would be nonsensical. Relocating the library fireplace to the stub wall and enlarging it to divide the two areas would affect the entire space from the library to the entrance, a grand space which is essentially one huge room.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 11154
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Who is "this guy"?

Post by Roderick Grant »

I couldn't find a name on that Fallingwater video, but that poor man needs a dose of optimism. His glass isn't half empty, it's dry to the bottom. The 'blending into the environment' claim reflects the problem with critiquing FLW by glib statements, like Sullivan's "Form follows function," or FLW's response, "Form and function become one." They are introductions to much more complex explications of his philosophy. He was not saying that Fallingwater disappears into the background, as Anonymous seems to believe.

DRN
Posts: 4252
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Re: This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

Post by DRN »

"This guy" is "that guy".
You know, "that guy".... there's one of them on just about every tour you've taken or given.

I believe Jimi Hendrix mentioned him in a song:
" 'Scuse me while I kiss this guy." :wink:
Jimi was a man of peace.

DavidC
Posts: 8830
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Re: This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

Post by DavidC »

Jimi


David

SDR
Posts: 21169
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: This guy knows better than Frank Lloyd wright

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