The exterior is grand and inspiring. The interior, unfortunately, shows
Wright's tendency to allow the interior to suffer for the sake of the
exterior. I don't like that approach in architecture or in life on any
Also, have you ever notice that about 30% of the compound is hardly ever
shown. It is the "rear" (side opposite the water) and I suppose it's the
garage and other spaces. The walk from this building is unbelievably long.
I've heard that the place leaked from the very beginning and has had a
constant moisture problem as well from the beginning.
Beautiful, for sure but behind the exterior beauty is a LOAD of bad design.
Actually, he paid quite a lot of attention to the interiors. It's jsut
that interiors are even more a mater of taste than are exteriors and
structrual elements. Fpr example, his dining room chairs do go with the
houses overall, but also tend to be very straight-backed, which is
something i find to be gawdawful uncomfortable.
Prob. becasue the vast majority of poeple have Zero interest in seeing
utility areas. Personally, I like to see them because IMO, if one i
spayin gfor a custom house, there is no reason whatsoever why a "utility
area" can't fit in with th erest of the structure/aesthetic. Esp. given
how often one 2will end up using (IOW< being in) those areas - IMO, ti's
goofy to ignore them. But again, the vast majority of people don't give
these areas any thought, so I'd venture to guess that is why they're
It's called "dramatic build-up". Also, the setting is very park-like, so
I figure that one is also supposed to enjoy the surroundings while
approaching the house.
That was part of the "cons" I referenced and specifically chose to not
address, my own comment being about the look of it - I like the massing,
the visual rhythms; I find it almost fractal in feel, which in turn makes
it feel, IMO at least, more in-tune with the rocks and otehr natural
elements, given that natural structures are fractal.
What I'd like to see is someone who could do better. Criticism is easy,
but evidence very strongly suggests that *doing*, and specifically,
*doing BETTER*, is immensely difficult.
In the sense of making geometry "artistic" shapes he did spend a lot of
time (i.e. designing awkard built-in counchs with bizarre back cushions)
where he had no business making them, he did not spend the amount of time
(imho) that he should have to make the interior functional and human
friendly. This piece, which is his signature residence, is an almost
complete disaster as much as interior functioning is concerned. LOOK AT THE
PLAN, man! ;0
I guessed the same. However, the overall success of any complex depends on
the interrelationship of all of it's parts. Basically, the exterior design
IS "falling water" and nothing else lives up to the exterior.
Well, one can call it that but it's just a long tedious walk coming in from
work everyday. It's GOT to be around 80 feet long walk (if not more). Have
you seen it?
OKAY, hero worshipper. I could have done better on the interior in my first
year. The vast majority of the other students there could have done so as
well. I bet you could do better at student level as well.
80' from where? From the garage/car-park, or from the road? I'm not
clear on that point. Also, I'd though it was suppsoed to be a vacation
house, not a primary residence. Then too, given the choice between
walking 10' to the dreary little door of a dreary little tract house, and
Falling Water, it's not much of a contest.
It's obviously not your cup of proverbial tea, but your dislike doesn't
change what I like about various aspects.
Oh good grief, it's not "hero worship" to like certain aspects of a
specific item in someone's boy of work. I also like COltraine's "A Love
Supreme", is that also "hero worship"? I like Vivaldi's "Four Seasons",
but am less fond of some of his other works - is that "hero worship"? I
like a lot of Calatreva's work (which I got to see pics of thanks to
links priovided by otehr folks in this NG), but am less fond of other
examples - is that being a "hero worshipper", merely liking some various
examples of someones work, or even specific aspects thereof? Answer:
nope. Your use of the phrase "hero worshippers" was entirely incorrect.
As for others doing better, I'd honestly be interested in links to some
examples, so I could take a look.
The other this is that different things "work" for different people.
THere are a few things I'm personally adamant about that other poeple
feel work just fine for them.
I'm also fed up with the following sort fo response:
Me: "I like the way the shapes and atterns interact visually."
Critic: "That's absurd, it leaks."
The "reply" has nothing whatsoever to do with the statement about the
visual aesthetic. But IMO, it's just plain stupid to belittle one
person's likeing, because it isn't to one's own liking. Personally, I
dislike nearly all Victorian and derivatives thereof, becasue the
business drives me to distraction and i don't like the spatial
arrangements - BUT, there are a great many people who have a different
aesthetic, and who renovate Victorian places in a way that actually works
with the building and interior, and associated aesthetics - so, my own
non-desire to live in one is *a separate issue* from whether the
structure has, so to speak, integrity, internal consistency. Aesthetic
appreciation is IMO not merely a matter of personal taste, of what one
would personally want to live in or with, but rather, an ability to
listen and learn about a wide variety of things, and realize that
"veriety is the spice of life".
Buildings are like people in that each has a personality, and none is
"perfect", if only because every individual person has a unique spin on
what is or isn't considered "perfect" - and even that spin often changes
as one goes through life.
So I just find it annoying and, really, kind of goofy, when someone
replies to a purely aesthetic statement with some utterly pedestrian
statement such as "it leaks". To claim that ANY aesthetic appreciation
of said "leaky" structure is nothing more than "hero worship" (the
implication being: mindless, stupid, ignorant) is IMO mere petty
snideness. Contrary to many folks' obvious belief, being snide does not
equate to being clever.
WHen I see pics of Falling Water, yeah, I like the visual interaction of
the shapes, the cantilevers, the elements,the materials, and so on. I
like some parts of the interior, but not everything. Maybe it does leak;
maybe it did require extensive retrofitting - but those are engineering
facts, not aesthetic perceptions. Apples and oranges. I like both, but
each for itself, without any pretense that they're identical.
Well, imho, he was artistic in his approach to many of his designs as far as
the exterior was concerned (with notable exceptions). However, he was
absolutely poor in planning in most of the works I've seen. He's nobody to
actually look up to as I see many architects do, like he was some god-like
What I find interesting is that pro-FLW and anti-FLW seems to be very
similarto "iberal" and "conservative" in terms of the polarization of the
"camps" so to speak.
I don't recall an FLW media craze; I came across his work entirely by
accident (sort of how I learned most of what I know <g!>), and from th
eoutset, there were aspects I liked and aspects I did not like (and still
like or dislike).
I don't understand why it has to be an either-or situation. All artists
have their own vision (and, let's face it, ego, since it does take ego to
be able to put your work in front of other poeple), but as in all art,
there is no true "final authority"/"final arbiter" in that the artist's
vision simply is not shared 'in toto' by everyone, everywhere, at all
times. And heck, even artists modify/change/develop their own vision.
SO it baffles me why, if you say, about FLW, "I like this", you're
indilging in slavish hero-worhip, but if you say "I don't like that", you
jet jumped on by the other camp. I like many of FLW's ideas - the fact
that the execution thereof exposed certain flaws/shortcomings does not
completely negate ALL of his ideas and designs.
Or maybe I'm just too accustomed to the philosophy and mentodology of
sceince - knowledge is incermental adn builds upon previous knowledge,
and the disproof of a theory also increases knowledge. The steam-powered
toy (rotating sphere) invented by Heron of Alexandria was interesting,
but nobody took that knowledge and built upon it, so the steam engine
wasn't developed until a couple thousand years later. In a sense, the
fundamental idea was rediscovered/reinvented. I don't see why
architecture should be any different - use/adapt the ideas that have
merit, and *learn from* the aspects that don't work, rather than throwing
the proverbial baby out with the proverbial bath water, which is just as
bad as continuing to adhere to things that don't function well.
That's how I see it, at least.
Reminds me of that old movie with Edgar G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart,
IIRC teh title is "Key West" - the proagonists huddle in a big ol' house
to ride out a hurricane, and I always find myself wondering whether that
was just artistic license, or what - logically, if comething is as
reinforced as some of those old places seem to have been, with all of the
tight lathing for walls (rather than sheetrock), and so on, it stands to
reason that it'd survive a heck of a lot more wind than some thing made
with 2X4s (that aren't really even 2X4s any more) spaced as widely apart
as possible and skinned with what are basicaly nothing more than
OTOH, again, there was also bad construction back then, so the principle
holds: learn from both the ideas/methods that worked, and the ones that
Yup, and it's even been mentioned on various History Channel-type shows -
just that I don't recall it personally ;)
It was/is a mixed bag, I think.
That's nto what I meant - some things just "go" with where they are.
it's not something I know how to describe or "put my finger on" so to
But there, too, you get "camps" - the "modern design/materials" adherents
versus the "ancient designs/materials" adherents.
To me, it's like arguing whether clay sculpture is "superior" or
"inferior" to welded steel.
In the end, it depends upon the designer's talent whether something looks
good where it is, or not. And even there, "looks good" i a blend of
environmental *and* historical/cultural factors.
This is why Architectural Design is considered one of the Arts. Yes,thre
are necessary considerations of engineering and materials sceince and so
on, but thre is also that artistic/creative aspect.
Unfortunately, that's true.
At least they also power sailing ships ;)
Exactly. I also like background info (such as, why certain types of
designs and materials and so on came to be used in certain ways by local
peoples), but "critics" aren't people I've ever paid much attention to,
at least not once I got past around the age of 12.
Oh, definitely true. I don't like *all* of his work by any stretch. But
there are a couple things I do like (at least visually) quite a lot.
Red...? I don't get it, sorry.
But Ecclecticism, definitely - in everythign. I like all sorts fo
things, but not *all* of anything. I like some of just about every
musical style, from madrigals to classical to ancient instruments; same
for art, same for food, same for everything.
Definitely. Keeps one from getting bored - also tends to make one less
Yeah. I guess we're none of us immune to having knee-jerk reactions;
it's just that some baffle me more than others, and the "FLW debate" is
one of them - I don't see a debate, I see some things that are
interesting and/or useful, and some things that, well, aren't.
Like the "80' walkway". I like it for my own reasons, but I can accept
that it doesn't float everyone's boat, however is it a serious design
flaw? I don't think so. OTOH, a crumbling cantilever is a design
flaw...! But IMO, the smart thing to do is to look at the *idea*, and if
it makes sense aesthetically and functionally, figure out how to get the
engineering right, *not* merely reject the entire idea (and belittle
people who like the idea). IOW, I don't personally see why the debate
*is* a debate. I guess some folks just need extra heart stimulation...
Oh yeah, the Fake Dimensions. Yeesh :p . So sanding is the excuse for
the reduction...? Even if that were true, why does it matter, if
something is a structural unit that's going to be covered? Doesn't the
removal of material make the item less strong...? IMO, things ought to
be called what they are. But then, that seems to be symptomatic of the
last 2 decades orso - meanings/words have become elastic, things to be
bent willy-nilly merely for the sake of insignificant convenience. Ah,
the 2X4 as a symbol of sociocultural malaise... <g!>
Oh, OK - I'd thought the sizes were off because of trimming. I stand
corrected, thanks ;) I know about shrinkage when dealing with wood for
things like furniture and other smaller-scale proejcts, but just assumed
(erroniuosly, it turns out) that Lumber was differnt. It's always
helpful to know the facts ;)
I definitely did not know that about pressure-treated wood. I thought
they coated it with somethign but the salt bit is interesting.
Tangentially, I'll haev to google "how long does PT wood last if in
contact with the ground", now that you've mentioned PT wood (I have a 2'
wide perimeter of stones underlaid with fiberglass landscape fabric
around the whole house and pool decking, to make insect control easier,
but right now, all that's holding it up is that plastic 'lawn edging'
stuff,a nd I'm trying to decide whetehr I want to make the maintenence
even easier by putting something around the stone, since the lawn doods
always end up knocking the stones in to the lawn).
I didn't know that - well that explains that. And why baseboards often
don't seem to be flush at both the top and the botton. Interesting.
Which of course leads one to ask, How'd ya do it?" ;)
Doesn't that comprimise the insulation of the room?
Isn't that why there is Faux Texturing? <G!>
Oh jeez, you do BIG projects! I figure the glass (and maybe some
associated woodwork and concrete-molding) will be enough for me. Well,
in addition to diggin in the yard and installing the rest of the stone
borders. I'm more of a landscape type than a building type ;)
They seem to have doen it right in this house at least - all the
baseboards, and pretty much anywhere that any sort of framing or other
non-wall element meets the wall, is all caulked, with the caulk overall
smoothed properly. SO I give them credit for that. The house in
Massachusetts had no caulking, just paint, and the baseboards quickly
started to "bow out" and develop gaps. Cheesy workmanship.
Have you ever seen metal baseboards, or metal-cald-woods ones? THat's an
idea that's skittered around in my head off and on for a while, but I
don't recall seeing it anywhere (aside from metal-framed heavy-duty
industrial-type doors). I'm trying to picture how brushed stainless (or
other metal) might look, whetehr it'd be interesting or whether it'd just
Well, that stinks :(
It's interesting to watch it done - very messy, i.e. kid-like ;)
I can't say I know anything useful about them. Well, I could say, but
it'd be a lie, so I won't ;)
Did you get to set up that small portable greenhouse? What kind of
I havent' seen too much aside from the very plain frames - occasionally,
I've seen one that's stamped with a design, but most of the "metal" ones
are faux finishes. Sometimes, they're silver-leaf, which is OK, if given
a protective coat of varnish.
Oh yeah, that's true - I hadn't thought about scratching. THat's prob.
why it's not used - it'd be like stainless appliances, a pita to keep up
with. People would prob assume it was just wood painted with
I think it'd prob. have to be pressed/fitted onto a wooden form, othewise
it'd dent too easily.
Well, seemed like a better idea than it actually is!
Well, from what I've read, smaller fruits/vegetables tend to be more
nutritious, because the larger ones aer usually bread mainly for high
sugar content, and fast growth - ironically, the faster the
fruit/vegetable grows, the less the amount of minerals and whatnot that
are taken up from the soil - it ends up being closer to leaves, in a
sense, in that it's more water and cellulose. Which is why, for example,
a lot of fruit these days does *not* tasete the way fruit did 30 yrs ago.
Most consumers seem to be capable of only tasting "sweet", i.e. sugar,
but when fruits are manipualted to increase the sugat content, it tends
to bollox up the genes and/or development of actual *flavor*.
That sounds good. COnsider a few stalks of corn, too. It does taste
different when you gerow it, allow it to mature naturally, and eat it
immediately after picking. You're also thinking of sunflowers IIRC...?
Have you considered beans of any sort?
Oh yeah, I go in for flowering shrubs/small trees, too. Ideally, I'd
like to have something blooming all year round (which is doable in the
Houston area and other Southern climates).
THere is a good Redbud for hotter climates, IIRC the detailed designation
is "Cercis canadensis var Oklahoma ssp 'texensis'"; I have one, it's a
type that gets white floweres, it's in the 1/3 of the back yard that I've
been turing into a WHite Garden (just because I've always liked the idea
of that, being able to sit out on warm SOuthern nights an dsee the full
moon lighting up the white flowers). I doubt we'll live here long enough
to finish it, but the plan would be to first plant in a number of white-
blooming shrubs and small trees, and tehn make beds underneath with
various bulbs, perennials, and dwarf shrubs that bloom white. I should
be getting my hands on some white-blooming Hibiscus this weekend.
They're rare in the nursery trade so I had to special-order them.
Anyhoo, FWIW, of you wife likes crepe myrtles, trhere are now miniature
ones that only grow to about 3'X3' and are suitable for growing in pots.
Salvia are also tough plants that can get from 2' to 6' (depending upon
the type); penstemon i ssimilar. You can get all sorts of colors ranging
from reds to purples to blues to white. I think there are also ao couple
of yellows now, too. Typically, Salvia species are perennial and grow to
thickly-shrubby plants about 4'X2'-4'. They attract butterflies, and on
a hot day, give off a sage-like scent - they're related to the herb Sage.
THey're generally what's called "woody perennials" - the stems are, well,
woody, almost like a shrub, but they're not as bstantial as teh stems and
branches of a true shrub. The few that are not perennial tend to reseed
and come back the next year.
I haven't given too much thought to any sort of topiary because it's hard
enough for me to keep up with low maintenence items, but alot of it is
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