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Arch Oboler Property
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 518
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People who insist on revealing steel structure should start by exposing their own inner skeletal structure. I mean, how can they go around pretending that those bones don't exist?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 8839
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many a face is enhanced by a prominent brow or expressive cheekbones.

But one has to sympathize with Mr Wright's preference for concealed structure and expressed form. After all, there is drama aplenty going on in his work: spacial play, light and shade, texture and color. The dominant roof and the strong walls which (almost) support it don't require complex structure -- in most cases -- or the resulting revelation of "the bones" -- I suppose. It just isn't that kind of architecture.

And when the bones do protrude, as at the late church in Northern California, the result isn't very convincing. -- is it ? (In that case, the original concept was to have the A-frames complete and pointing to the sky. Would that have been better ?)

SDR
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1108
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the amount of steel in the FSC house surprised even me. McQuire seems to think it's all about hurricane codes.

RG, I know what you mean about the seemingly prosaic nature of Continuation being better than a conglomeration of geometries. I'll take a second and harder look at Eaglefeather based on this. I've always felt the fact this building wasn't built was a real loss. The "collision" of geometries has always intrigued me thinking that it probably would have been incredible had it been built.[/i]
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Laurie Virr



Joined: 25 Jul 2009
Posts: 471

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usonian Architecture is planar in expression. The philosophy that states that the display of structure constitutes ‘honest architecture’ is a nonsense. Does structure have to be expressed? Cannot it be implied?

On a related subject, as raised by Stephen:

There is little relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1958 concept for the Pilgrim Congregational Church at Redding, California, and the building as realized 2-5 years later. I recall that he referred to the design as ‘pole and boulder Gothic’.

Built to its original design, it may well have rivaled Unity Temple and Beth Sholom Synagogue at the pinnacle of the architect’s religious buildings, whereas the Taliesin Associated Architects version could be accurately described as ‘pale and colder froth-ic’. It has the stamp of William Wesley Peters all over it.
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 2629
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO: Wrapping a steel beam with wood seems reasonable, while wrapping a steel beam with concrete blocks does not.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 8839
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there an inherent logic to that distinction, Paul ? I value the intangible, in art as in argument -- but are there examples, or alternatives, that you can point to in defense of that interesting position ? Does it have to do with a perceived (or imagined) difference in the carrying capacity of solid wood vs a lacy (decorative ?) form of concrete ?

Oh -- and, Happy New Year !

SDR
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 8839
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't it more about hiding the steel -- placed where it's needed -- behind or within the available "architecture" -- than about wrapping ? Floating volumes or roof planes need to be supported somehow . . . ?

S
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 518
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul Ringstrom wrote:
IMHO: Wrapping a steel beam with wood seems reasonable, while wrapping a steel beam with concrete blocks does not.


Certainly you can't suggest ordinary steel-spanning fireplace openings be wrapped in wood, and if not there ... why is it necessary to distinguish elsewhere?
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 2629
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking specifically about cantilevered carports.

It is "conceivable" that a wood member of proper species and dimensions could carry the cantilever, but not concrete blocks.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 8839
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um. "Rock, Paper, Scissors" . . . ?


It could be said that Mr Wright remained true to the principle (once it had occurred to him) of "truth to material." That is, he said that the Usonian house was to be an assemblage of wood, brick, concrete, paper, and glass. In the case of Fallingwater, the design was an essay in reinforced concrete, in conjunction with stone, steel, and glass. Thus, it troubled him when senior apprentices and seasoned builders saw fit to add steel to the roofs of some Usonians -- and in the case of Fallingwater, it is hard to argue that the house wouldn't have benefitted from some serious structural steel in the principal floor cantilever and its offshoots.

Ideological purity is all well and good; reality imposes its own rules. If one is going to conceal structure, why not do it right -- as in the case of the Robie house roof cantilevers ? Was something lost along the way, from the early work to the later ?

SDR
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KKubesh



Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:24 am    Post subject: Arch Oboler Structures Reply with quote

Does anyone know how many structures were meant to be built versus how many have been built? Also, do they still stand today?

Thanks.
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ekb



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not previously read this discussion, but needless to say there is talk about FLW's use of steel in his structures. This summer I put a new roof on my parents house and had to repair some dry rot due to the criminal workmanship of the previous roofer. When I opened the sheeting I found 1/4i inch steel bolted to the roof trusses that my dad built supporting the overhangs. I thought it was my dad being an engineer. I also remember an I beam in the roof above the front door.
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Reidy



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 1015
Location: Northern CA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I know, all the Oboler designs except Eaglefeather were built and still stand.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 4373

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Continuation" was a later design that was not realized, nor was the small studio published in that Italian book of drawings. Construction of the main house was terminated after Oboler's young son died from a fall on the property. The hillock where the house was to stand is still unaltered. In the beginning, Oboler owned over 300 acres, much of which he sold off to finance his movies, like "Bwana Devil."
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 2629
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Continuation" will be built by the current owners. The current buildings have been renovated.
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