I don't get what was so great about Frank Lloyd Wright's designs

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Squidly-Diddly, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallingwater

    Sure, give me a waterfall as building site and I could make an 'interesting' house. But it would take a real designer to make one that deals with obvious moisture issues.

    Making wild cantilevers(but not anything that hadn't been well worked out in thousands of other buildings) is one thing. Doing them right the first time so someone else doesn't need to install a total retrofit structural repair is another.

    A few of his buildings are at least 'tasteful' but most seem awkward.

    He made some office building with cool looking glass roof supported by cool looking plant shaped columns, but it leaked all the time.

    My guess is the layout of his houses make them nearly 'unlivable' in daily life.

    I just don't 'get it', besides the big overhangs over windows.
     
  2. Kailani
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    Kailani Senior Member

    There weren't many houses doing this in 1936!

    They give tours of Falling Water all summer. It's worth the admission fee to go thru it once if you are ever near Pennsylvania.
     
  3. goodwilltoall
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    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    Spend the twenty bucks n take the walking tour. The man was an absolute genius. Nobody built anything like that in concrete stone steel glass n timber and it hasnt been matched yet at least here on earth. Most anything manmade is going to require maintenence after 80 years.

    The stepped/curved stairway canopy 150' long supported by three 4"x4" column is a favorite of mine. The quarried onsite stonework mimicking its natural state. The black walnut woodwork. Hundreds of architects from all over the world make yearly pilgrimges. You can have the place rebuilt every year on the visitor entrance fee.

    Btw my favorite design is the obscure Staley house about thirty miles due North.
     
  4. goodwilltoall
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    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    North of were im sitting. North Madison, Ohio.
     
  5. goodwilltoall
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    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    North of were im sitting. North Madison, Ohio. Its in the Usonian style he bagan right after FW. A marvelous n harmonious cohesion of materials, layout, site, and functionality while towards the end of his life he mostly did away with extraneous do dads and just let the raw materials, space, and form speak for him although he was very good at speaking for himself.
     
  6. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Squidley,

    Does the house you have have any single interesting feature like Falling Waters? Not mine.
    When you are ground breaking you are sure to make a few mistakes.
    Materials and structural design have come a long way and would solve "most" of the old problems.

    Only one thing I didn't like.
    The guy was obnoxious about having his way, and he didn't think anyone over 5'5" needed to be in his house.
    Well - concrete furniture doesn't fit my "likes" either.

    I saw Falling Waters 50 years ago and have looked ever since for anything to match the way it used the land and made it better. I still look for land where I could have a creek near a house.
    There have been a lot of copy cats who have used a few of the features he started. They usually don't have much more than the one feature.
     
  7. Tanton
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    Tanton Senior Member

    Design. "It is what you see".
     
  8. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    He is a pioneer in ergonomics and matching human needs to the immediate environment. He revolutionized construction in all sizes from houses to huge buildings. There were a couple famously unsatisfactory designs. The Guggenheim Art museum didn't accommodate artwork viewing very well. Falling Water was not constructed to his specifications. I am a genuine fan of his Prairie Style art and used to build furniture and decorative work in the style, such as I could.

    If the stuff doesn't look remarkable now, its because everybody since has incorporated his ideas to some extent. A century ago, there weren't ranch style houses, yards were arranged totally differently due to the home economics of the times. You had an orchard yard, a drying yard, a garden space, and front yards were laid out totally differently. Porches were totally different. FLW recognized the effects of home appliances and provided modern spaces that accommodated refrigerators, washing machines, central heating, and the like.
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Unless it has a boathouse attached I wouldn't want one. Also, they always leak, so make sure your boat is not by FLW ;)
     
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  10. hoytedow
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    hoytedow wood butcher

    Right on, Gonzo!
     
  11. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Actually I am more interested in a shop. Boat house second.
     
  12. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Personally I really like his (FLWs) strong use of horizontals. They definitely work in a lot of locations he built in. None of the spikiness of an intrusive strong vertical, like the financial towers in most of our major city centres devoted to mammon...;)
    They work in a harmony with the landscape well as far as can be judged at distance. Only have photos, TV and stuff like that, not the feel of being there with the native landscape, colours and climate.

    Would love to visit Falling Water and a few other places if I get to the States.

    A Euro example of something sitting quite well in a lightly wooded surrounding would be the Kroller Muller Museum in the Netherlands. Well worth a visit for the building and the art inside.

    If you would like something brighter, how about Gaudi's stuff in Barcelona?

    At least we have one 'Bauhaus' sailing club in the UK - The Royal Corinthian at Burnham on Crouch. Quite a good example of modernist architecture as it happens and it works pretty well too.
     
  13. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    that " Royal Corinthian at Burnham on Crouch" looks functional enough I suppose, but I'm not seeing any noteworthy 'architecture'.

    Looks like something built for some particular purpose on a military base without the slightest consideration except low cost. "We need X number of office boxes stacked and some stairs"
     
  14. sprit
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    sprit Junior Member

    Human scale, natural materials, texture, concordant colors, new shapes
    vs. terrible furniture, leaks etc.
    On balance, a genius, if a pompous one.
     

  15. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    A boat would seem to be about the only thing the man didn't design. I found this statement interesting -

    from here - http://www.franklloydwrightsites.com/iowa/quasqueton/walterhouse.htm

    Can I truely admire a man who hasn't done a boat? Yes, I think I can.
     
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