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Re: Frank Lloyd Wright

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If only it was a light Friday to go with the light discussion.....

Frank Lloyd Wright was a true visionary.  His designs were decades ahead of
his time, and his influence on the subsequent era of architectural design is
immeasurable.  Was he perfect? No. But then who is?  I have heard criticism
regarding some of his structural designs, many of them justified by today's
standards, but hindsight is always 20/20.   Most of his residential designs
on the west coast have performed badly when subjected to lateral forces.
The clerestory separation of the roof diaphragm from the walls didn't help.
But everything must be placed in context, MOST of the buildings designed by
anyone during his time have performed badly.  I still consider lateral
design a fledgling field.  At the time FLW was designing our seismic
knowledge and records still consisted of "I ran to the window and the ground
was shaking".  Like many on this list, I am routinely involved with current
architectural designs where the lack of understanding regarding vertical and
lateral systems is readily apparent.

Architecturally, the only way to appreciate FLW is to actually experience
the spaces he created.  I have made it a point over the years to try and
visit his projects whenever I am in the area.  The physical experience has
never disappointed, and in many instances is almost spiritual (Boy, it must
be Friday).

There are others as well, like P.L. Nervi (an engineer), I.M. Pei, and so
on.  As part of the structural program at Cal Poly, SLO, the study of
architecture is a strong part of the curriculum, understanding the language
of architecture and the development of structural solutions that are
sensitive to the architectural intent.  One cannot help but develop a sense
of favorites, and Frank Lloyd Wright is one (as my collection of coffee
table books would profess).

There was a great thread on the list a while back regarding peoples favorite
structures, a collection of "When you are in the area, go and see..."

Paul Feather PE, SE
pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net
www.SE-Solutions.net
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kestner, James W." <jkestner(--nospam--at)somervilleinc.com>
To: "SEAINT" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2003 7:56 AM
Subject: Frank Lloyd Wright


> Many Architects think Frank Lloyd Wright was a true visionary who could do
no wrong. What is your opinion of him and his accomplishments?
>
> A light discussion topic for a Friday......
>
> Jim K.
>
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