architecture (466)

Icosahedral Pumpkin and Model

We recently got a letter from architect James Horecka, parts of which are excerpted below:

I figured I’d recreate a geodesic pumpkin that I had carved-up back around 1990, shortly after I visited the Buckminster Fuller Institute (back when it was still in Los Angeles).

…on Monday morning, I came up with the idea of making a Geodesic Jack out of EMT, as I had some laying around. Over three evenings of a few hours each, I knocked it out.

The basics:

  • 1v Icosahedron (obviously).
  • Struts: 8″ long pieces of ½″ EMT. Two 10′ sticks yielded the 30 struts required.
  • End tabs flattened in my 20-ton hydraulic press. They are long because I was originally going to just stack the joints, ‘Burner’ style.
  • At the last minute, I decided to use hubs instead of stacking (cleaner look, less hassle). The steel discs are 2¾″ diameter cover plates for repairing holes where operating hardware has been removed.
  • I drafted the Hub templates CADD; glued to the metal, center-punched, drilled, and deburred.
  • Fasteners are ¼-20 × ½″ stove bolts & nuts.
  • Two-tone paint: Honey inside (flesh), Amber outside (skin), plus Black.

Anyway: Creating this from scratch over just a few evenings was good fun.

I’ll probably go back and make another dozen hub plates, for the inside face of each node. With those and the bolts & nuts painted black, the assembly will look a little sharper still. Though now that Halloween is over, I’ve no idea what to do with this thing until next year! Cat House?

P.S.: I continue to enjoy reading your books. Cover-to-cover, one after another.

Sincerely,

James Horecka, AIA
Staff Architect, A&FE
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim

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Optical Illusionary Carpentry in British Columbia

Lloyd: greetings from Victoria BC. Some five years ago I shot this pic … up north of here. I was up there to play at the island art festival. It’s likely that you have been there on your long and winding road. We took a little drive and when I saw this fabulous wall I shouted … STOP. I jumped out and grabbed the shot. I didn’t ask the owners permission as there seemed to be no one at home. I rediscovered the shot and have been admiring it again. Much love and gratitude to you.

Stuart

I wrote Stuart and asked if this was a painted-on optical illusion and he replied:

“No it’s not a painting. I walked up to it, sized it up, started laughing, and it’s just a very well made optical illusion in wood. Gobsmacked … I was a little.”

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Renovation of Timber Frame Church in Santa Barbara

Bob Easton, who designed (and did all the hand-lettered headlines and drawings of small buildings) in Shelter with me in 1973, has been an architect ever since, and today sent me this note, along with this photo:

“…got busy this week, in the middle of renovating 120-year-old Episcopal church here in Montecito.”

The church was apparently designed by Arthur Benton in 1900.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water House Saved (at Enormous Cost)

I was a FLW fan in the early ’60s. We went to Taliesin West (on the same trip, hung out a bit with Paolo Soleri at his compound in Scottsdale, where he had just built this beautiful underground grotto/studio). Slept on the deck of a burned-down FLW house nearby. Visited the house (in Pasadena?) with imprinted concrete blocks and also got a tour of a home in Marin County by a guy named Berger who built it himself.

So FLW’s engineering sucked. He was an artist!

This was sent in by Ed today. For the thread that started the FLW conversation, see comments on this post: My Little Hut in the Woods

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