Gunite, or concrete shot through a hose, helped to shape twentieth-century modernist architecture, yet its history is largely unwritten. In 1927–29 Richard Neutra pioneered the architectural use of Gunite in the Lovell House in Los Angeles. Frank Lloyd Wright praised Neutra's house, and he later used Gunite with a light steel frame in his Community Church in Kansas City, Missouri (1939–42). In Wright's next public commission, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1943–59) in New York City, he proposed that the great spiral gallery be wholly of Gunite set on a pre-stressed steel frame, in order to achieve his ideal of plasticity and continuity; the material was used to form the Guggenheim's exterior walls as built. In Seamless Continuity versus the Nature of Materials: Gunite and Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum, Joseph M. Siry narrates the manner in which the design of the Guggenheim's wood formwork, its joints, and the choice of its exterior coating challenged Wright and his collaborators to achieve a form for the spiral that was consistent with his aesthetic ideal.
Seamless Continuity versus the Nature of Materials: Gunite and Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum
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Joseph M. Siry; Seamless Continuity versus the Nature of Materials: Gunite and Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 March 2012; 71 (1): 78–108. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2012.71.1.78
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