Thursday, April 9, 2009

Opus 10

Craft: The craft in building Monticello and Falling Water was seen through the clean lines and difference from other buildings of the times. Thomas Jefferson borrowed ideas for his home design from the French, then designed and redesigned his home to fit the time but also allow for new technology, such as built-ins. Jefferson’s craft was also shown through the self-sufficiency of his plantation. He had the technology available to make Virginia mud bricks, nails, beer, wine, and gardening. Frank L. Wright also used clean lines in the way that he placed the windows along the rooms and by the use specially designed light fixtures and furniture. Wright used natural elements to build this home, such as concrete and steel. This was the first time that concrete had been used to build a house in that time.

Falling Water and Monticello both utilized space. Wright thought that nine foot ceilings were a waste of space, so he shortened the ceilings to the average height, then lowered half of the ceiling to draw the eye to the windows. Jefferson also used new techniques in building, such as connecting nature with indoors. He used his own version of linoleum flooring painted green in the entrance hall, but also painted unnoticeable acorns into the fireplace.
Virtual: Wright and Jefferson created the feeling of being outside by the use of multiple windows in each room of both structures. They both wanted to encourage outdoor activities by using windows and verandas reaching out into nature. The use of windows and glass doors invited the guest to enjoy the nature waiting to be explored.

Private: Jefferson was embarrassed by the use of slaves and servants. He created corridors under the house that kept the kitchen, cellars, and workshops out of sight. He also used dumbwaiters and revolving doors to send food and wine to the dining room for the butler to deliver, rather than having servants wandering in and out of the dining area. Jefferson also took one third of the house for his own private use, which included his office, bedroom, and library. With multiple guests coming and going out of the Jefferson home, he wanted to establish clear places for private family. Wright also established areas for guests and family by using dark hallways that discouraged guests from entering private areas. He also built a separate house just for guests. Falling Water was also more private than Monticello in the way that it was embedded into the woods, rather than sitting on top of a hill.

Jefferson and Wright used the language of the time in their designs that borrowed from other designs. They both used line weights in framing and sharp edges with horizontal and vertical lines. Resources of the time, such as: brick, wood, and clay, were also the language of the time due to how the materials were used in other surrounding structures.

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