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Frank Lloyd Wright Jacobs House #1

About the first Usonian House Built by FLW
by

David Leonnig

on 5 March 2013

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Transcript of Frank Lloyd Wright Jacobs House #1

Wright provided the Jacobs with an open,
L-shaped floor plan, laid out on a grid of two by four foot units with a total measurement of 1550 square feet. But in all this revival of activity (in 1936-37)
the very inexpensive Jacobs house is after the Kaufmann house and the Johnson building the most important.

Frank Lloyd Wright What would be really sensible in this matter of the modest dwelling for our time and place? Let's see how far the Herbert Jacobs house at Madison, Wisconsin, is a sensible house...

Frank Lloyd Wright
The Autobiography pp. 490-491 Now what can be eliminated? These:

1. Visible Roofs are expensive and unnecessary.

2. A garage is no longer necessary as cars are made. A carport will do, with liberal
overhead shelter and walls on
two sides. Detroit still has
the livery-stable mind. It
believes that the car is a
horse and must be stabled. 3. The old-fashioned basement, except for a fuel and heater space, was always a plague spot. A steam-warmed concrete mat four inches thick laid directly on the ground over gravel-filling, the walls set upon that, is better.

4. Interior "trim" is no longer necessary.

5. We need no radiators, no light fixtures. We will heat the house the "hypercaust" way - in or between the floors. We can make the wiring system itself be the light fixture, throwing light upon and down the ceiling. Light will thus be indirect, except for a few outlets for floor lamps. 6. Furniture, pictures and bric-a-brac are unnecessary because the walls can be made to include them or be them.

7. No painting at all. Wood best preserves itself. A coating of clear resinous oil would be enough. Only the floor mat of concrete squares needs waxing. Usonia - American architect Frank Lloyd Wright's vision for the landscape of the United States, including the planning of cities and the architecture of buildings. The house ceiling surface consists of a "reflecting" design of Ponderosa pine boards and Redwood battens that echo the identical exterior and interior sides of the 2 1/4 inch thick sandwich walls. Interspersed red brick piers provide the primary support of the "floating," flat roof. The masonry at the core of the house provides a small cellar providing laundry space and, containing two small boilers. These boilers serve the radiant heating system that circulates water through the eight inch concrete floor slab resting on a grade of packed sand.

The bathroom, the open kitchen, and a
fireplace sit above the cellar. Like many
Wright designs, the fireplace is the focus
of the living room, which is reached from
outside by way of a "hidden" entrance way
that leads from beneath the cantilevered
carport roof. Wright provided two doors - establishing different qualities for each. The public way is framed by the carport's masonry-bearing wall to one side and a lone supporting column to the other, then deflects in darkness from the masonry core to a doorway that beckons with the promise of light.

The family entry, although
facing the street, is blocked
by the automobile and is
pushed far to the left, deep
within the carport. 8. No plastering in the building.
9. No gutters, no downspouts. The main gallery-axis connects the dining area of the house with the living room and the bedrooms. The dining room includes a long oak table designed by Wright for the space, dining chairs that he designed around 1920, and a cushioned, built-in bench.

Immediately above the table, concealed lamps supplement the lengthy track lighting of 15 watt bulbs. These extend northward from the south end of the living room, past the kitchen and along enclosed storage spaces that end at the hallway leading to the bedrooms. Here the ceiling drops down to 7.5 feet from the 11.5 foot ceilings of the kitchen and bathroom and the 9.5 height of the living room and gallery. http://www.douban.com/note/202097439/ Japanese Blog about Jacobs House Link to videos of Katherine Jacobs touring home
in 1992 Katherine Jacobs tours the house - 1992 …The true center (the only centralization allowable) in Usonian democracy, is the individual in his true Usonian family home. In that we have the nuclear building we will learn how to build. Integration is vitally necessary to that normal home. Natural differentiation is just as necessary.

Given intelligent, free, individual choice the
home should especially cherish such free
choice - eventually based upon a greater
range of possible freedom, range for such
individual choice in the specific daily
cultivation of principles in Architecture as
well as in the daily uses we make of Science
and Art. In Religion? No less!...


Frank Lloyd Wright:
Writings and Buildings (1960) Building with Frank Lloyd Wright - Herbert and Katherine Jacobs (1986)

The first-hand account of a young couple who in 1936 challenged Wright to produce a decent house for $5,000. (Katherine Jacobs remembers $5500 including Wright's $500 commission). Wright responded with innovative solutions—floor heating, flat roof, concrete floor, solid walls, grouping of utilities, carport, seclusion from the street but openness to a garden through banks of door windows.
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