Building A Frank Lloyd Wright House 5th Posting In A Series
The Picture above shows the house from the rear, particularly the brickwork. The structure faces due south and surveys 360,000 acres with three volcanoes and the ocean in the distance. The house sits in a saddle created between the Kohala Mountains and Mauna Kea Volcano. Trade winds crossing the Pacific funnel down this saddle picking up intensity as they go. It is with this physical condition in mind that John Rattenbury, The Taliesin Architect supervising this project , decided to use the Hemiclycle design of Mr. Wright’s. An earthen berm covers most of the first floor’s rear walls. A flat roof then allows the wind to rise over the berm and roll over the roof. Because the house is concave in the front, the small front yard is protected during these gusts. At 1,800 feet the temperature is near perfect. The second photograph gives you a feeling for the weave of the brickwork as it was laid in a tight circular fashion to create cylinder. This cylinder contained two upstairs bathrooms, a downstairs bathroom and utility room. In this manner Wright was able to concentrate the plumbing requirements save the for small bath in at the far end of the house on the second floor.
Virtually all of the blocks had to be cut by hand to meet the requirement of the curves. The four inch by four inch by sixteen inch smooth brick was difficult to lay because it is easy to lose the horizontal line. Some walls were started and taken down. Billy with a helper spent the better part of a year laying the foundation and the brickwork. The fireplace size was substantial.