Friday, January 29, 2010

Carl Stenstrom-Architect His Opus-Part Two

The following studies depicts Carl's efforts to reconcile size and shape along with exterior walls, balconies and windows. Interesting to see "Wrightian" design elements such as planters, water features and spires. In the early 1950's, Carl applied for the apprentice program at Taliesin. Upon hearing that Carl had two young chidren, Frank Lloyd Wright told him they didn't have accommodations at the time...disappointed, Carl soon was in Bartlesville, OK working on the Price Tower. I believe that is where he developed his love affair with concrete...though the geometry of this building is different from the Price Tower, there are similar characteristics.

The image below is a revision for an enclosed top floor. I don't know why but this sketch reminds me of drawings by Mendolsohn... These two sketches (above and below)are interesting...a shorter building design and below, it featured open balconies...are those spotlights shining into the sky? It appears there are semi-circular fence elements on the surrounding stone wall... perhaps to tie in with the balcony railing and the top of the roof deck enclosure that looks a lot like the skylight in Wright's Guggenheim?

The sketch above is an early perspective with "clunky" elevator towers that look awkward compared to the more refined later perspectives...Carl would often sketch at the top of the paper and have a lot of white space before you see the name of the project at the bottom, almost in the same way as Wright used the Japanese woodblock techniques in many of his earlier perspectives. Note the "inverted-L house" is omitted from the drawing.Once the final design concept was in place Carl built this model to help the client visualize the building...With an enormous number of drawings and effort expended, the client started to lose money on other investments, the early 1980's were an economic mess. Concurrently, he started losing interest in the building, which would have been complicated and expensive to build...he stopped paying Carl and during litigation the client committed suicide...

Below- This "Typical" floor plan is easier to read than the previous ones...

The reason I call this Carl's "Opus" is for the next fifteen years he met with developers in many cities and the Lake of the Ozarks as well as Branson, in an effort to get it built...Unfortunately, it never was. Below- The "Solar Deck"...

Below- Great photo of the model taken while at the lake.

Below- This angle shows the entrance on the north of the building and the car court with drive to underground parking.

Stay tuned...I'll post some other interesting work by Carl Stenstrom

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