This is the third post on the construction process of one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s original designs. Here we are well along in construction. The block work is corral aggregate dredged from Oahu. It added an additional sense of aliveness to the building in that the walls were once life forms from the sea. Virtually all of the 4×16″ smooth bricks in this house were hand cut to accommodate their being laid on the curve. The concave shaped front of the house has steel posts that allowed for large glue lam beams to be inserted like spokes, stretching back and read more »
Archive for April, 2010
As I have suggested in my book, How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head Under My Skin and Changed The Way I Think About Thinking, A Creative Thinking Blueprint For The 21st Century( publishing this summer), the source of great ideas could be a partnership between ourselves and partners in other realms. I called them Invisible Partners. For example think of the discoveries of geniuses in recent history such as , Thomas Alva Edison, who at his peak, was making a discovery every two weeks. Or Mozart who actually heard full orchestral movements while a mere child. Or Frank Lloyd Wright who saw complete designs. You could say that these great minds simply drew from their own source. Yet, you could also make an equally compelling case that the source of their inspirations were conscious partners in other realms sending them this information. I gravitate to the idea of the latter. “As above so below” resonates with this point of view for me. It feels more grounded, personal, and within reach. Obviously they had to have the preparation to receive this knowledge. Einstein, for example, had to have the training to understand what E=MC squared meant. read more »
This is the second post in a series of the construction of the Frank Lloyd Wright home on the Island of Hawaii. This construction began in 1992. The ground had to be leveled by using a hoe ram to break up blue rock, and a bulldozer to grade the surface. Then fine compaction was brought in so that the final structure would move on the compaction as one unit if there were an earthquake. (It turned out that once the structure was complete there was an earthquake of 6.9 on the Richter scale. Not so much as a crack appeared on the cement floor.) Then forms were made for all of the footings. Frank Lloyd Wright designed on the unit system. This house was based on the circle with the design incorporating intersecting circles. To obtain the right measurements a large pole was installed in the back center of the front yard so that the large sweeping arc of the back of the house could accurately be scribed from string attached to the pole. The picture is slightly deceiving because the arc in the rear is much larger than it appears in the picture. The round footing area is the cylinder which would house an two upstairs bathrooms and a downstairs bathroom and utility room. In the far distance, covered by cloud, is the base of Mauna Kea volcano.
As I am reporting to you now from a new perspective, that is making the ordinary extra ordinary, I found myself being drawn into an airport bookstore on a recent trip. I realized there was probably a book or magazine that I should read without knowing ahead of time what it was. Jumping out at me was The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. Here was a self-help book, a few years old, but chucked full of good ideas. Most importantly it seemed to challenge to those who might feel trapped in their daily lives, but could see no way out. I read the book and then a sampling of the wide range of reviews on Amazon. read more »
When Frank Lloyd Wright died in 1959, a moratorium was placed on his designs by Mrs. Wright for a period of twenty-five years. When this moratorium was lifted in 1984, it was done so in recognition by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation that it was the philosophy of Mr. Wright that was so important. Therefore plans were allowed to be built using the latest technology and materials in keeping with his philosophy of ” Organic Architecture.” In so doing only the Taliesin Architects, the architectural arm of the Frank LLoyd Wright Foundation, were permitted to supervise the construction of his designs. The Foundation retained the ownership of all designs, but licensed the right to build to prospective clients. Taliesin Architects determined that a particular design was site suitable, prepared the working drawings to meet local building codes, and supervised the actual construction. The Sims House was a 1954 house design originally intended for the Cornwell family in Pennsylvania. It finally came to life on the Island of Hawaii in 1996.
- It is in the class of designs referred to as a hemicycle. Passive solar in nature it is designed to face southwards using the sun’s low trajectory in the winter to create passive heat. In the summer the sun’s high trajectory would allow the large roof overhang to shade the sun’s rays thereby keeping the interior cool. Originally we were going to build the Hargrove Home designed for California, but as luck would have it, John Rattenbury, the supervising architect, was visiting the site on a day when the trade winds were vicious, almost unhinging his car door as it opened.
- The third of doughnut design uses an earth berm to back up to the second floor thus allowing the strong trade winds to rise up the berm and pass over the flat roof while providing a protected area in the house front.
- The second floor hangs from the ceiling secured by tie rods attached to the large beams holding up the roof. This eliminates posts on the first floor and makes the second floor appear to be suspended in space. The effect creates more of a feeling of unity between the indoors and outdoors.
- The entrance of the house is somewhat obscure because you walk past the carport to a narrow passageway. You are then thrust into a magnificent unobstructed vista of some 360,000 acres, three volcanoes and the ocean. The front of the house to your immediate left features a two story concave wall of glass doors and transom windows.
- The house took four years to build, mainly because I was on a cash basis. I had a small loyal crew and the helping hand of unforeseen forces. You might say I was extremely naïve. I had no general contractor, but the right people and necessary money kept showing up. Upon completion, John Rattenbury, the supervising architect, gave the construction job an A+. During the building phase there were several earthquakes in the 5 zone of the Richter Scale. Later a big 6.9 shake. The house sustained no damage.
- I hope to post a short series on the evolution of the house and the finished product.