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Pleasantly Surprised

posted Apr 20, 2015, 7:37 PM by Jameson Gagnepain

Pleasantly Surprised

Tonight I decided to work more on the 2nd story roof. This section has long been a worry of mine. The shape of Wingspread's roof is iconic, and I want to do it justice more than any other part of the building. The angled sides especially worried me, as they are at an odd angle that's not made by LEGO. My first attempt over the weekend used a complicated mesh of different size wedge plates, and there were gaps everywhere. On a whim I thought I could use staggered 45° plates. I think the effect is quite good.

I am exceedingly happy with how this turned out. I can't stop staring at it!

Refinement

posted Apr 20, 2015, 10:01 AM by Jameson Gagnepain

Refinement

As I near the end of this project, "completion" is an ever-changing target. Most of the time I don't know how I'm going to complete a section until I actually get into it with the brick. Often I'll just stall out entirely... I'll get so wrapped up in "doing it right" that I don't know where to start. I find it's best to just try something, ANYTHING, or I'll never get anywhere. There's always room to refine things, to revise what's already been done. The roof sections are quite full of this, none so much as the 2nd floor roof - a 9-sided "P"-shaped area with multiple intersecting slopes and only a couple right angles. Above is my first attempt at the upper roof section. I have a couple ideas to try to fill in the remaining gaps... we'll see what I decide on.

I should be finished building in the next week or so. Here's my remaining build list:
  • Garden pergola
  • Garden center
  • Poolside patio
  • Children's wing pergola
  • Children's wing roof
  • Carport/Guest wing flat roof
  • Servants' wing - long dormer window
  • 2nd Floor roof - angled areas
  • Chimneys
  • Various small gaps to fill in landscaping
  • Trees, flowers, plants, vines
Beyond the "build", I still have a couple items to get it "show ready" - skirting, plexiglass, and I have to make sure everything fits into boxes.

I love that with a building this large, even though I'm not done yet, there are still plenty of angles that look like a finished product:
Refinement

The Great Tile-Up

posted Apr 16, 2015, 7:20 PM by Jameson Gagnepain

The Great Tile-Up

I received one of my final BrickLink orders today. Finally, I have enough tiles to complete all of the tan cement and trellises! It will take some days to finish all the work, but I was happy to get a good start on it tonight. Two wings worth of trellis work are complete now - the master bedrooms and servants' wings. Of course I leave the most complicated ones for last... hopefully I can muster up the courage to tackle the childrens' wing and guest wing trellises this weekend. The one by the garden is absolutely huge, at about 64 by 20 studs, with a few intersecting angles that may prove frustrating.

Soon I should be able to begin completion of the great hall roof as well. The end is getting closer every day.

The Great Tile-Up

Foliated

posted Apr 13, 2015, 10:32 AM by Jameson Gagnepain

Foliated

Over the weekend, I worked on some finishing touches on the servants' wing. I've finally filled in the courtyard. The red cement in the courtyard is still waiting on the right color cheese slopes, and I'll probably add some flowers and perhaps a planter or two. I think I've gotten the trellises for this wing to a near-final state. I still need to add a vine or two - the real house has grape vines all over.

I'm quickly falling in love with this wing. The shaping, the angles, and the use of color are quite beautiful. I did not expect this to be my favorite wing, but I think it might be.

I wait patiently now on my various part orders.

Perseverance

posted Apr 10, 2015, 7:47 PM by Jameson Gagnepain

Perseverance

Tonight I set out to finish the landscape in the corner next to the servants' wing. I'm currently waiting on a boatload of parts from 5 separate BrickLink orders so that I will have enough to finish out the roof, trellises, and all the tan cement work. 

The end is so close! With this section complete, the only "land" that I have left to finish is the walkway up to the playroom, and the center of the garden. Just a little ways left to go, folks...

Taking Stock

posted Apr 6, 2015, 7:00 PM by Jameson Gagnepain

Taking Stock

It's getting to the point where I'm running quite low on things to do, and simultaneously running low on parts to do it with.

Over the long weekend, I did a complete rework of the guest wing and carport. There's a couple small bits of wall to complete, but it's basically 95% there. I'm now only a couple hours of work away from finishing Wingspread's walls!

Tonight I decided to take a stab at a bit more of the roof. With that I'm finally running low on dark orange parts. I'll likely be placing a few orders for more pieces in the next couple days so that I can finish the rest.

Edging

posted Mar 29, 2015, 6:51 PM by Jameson Gagnepain   [ updated Mar 29, 2015, 6:57 PM ]

Edging

This weekend was quite busy. I laid down the majority of the garden, completed the windows on the servant's wing, and completed most of the roof over the master bedroom wing.

Finding the right angle for the garden pathways was an interesting challenge. I wanted to ensure that everything stayed flat, while keeping the edges parallel to the building walls. I'm quite pleased with it, and I look forward to finishing out the flagstone area in the center. It's unfortunate that I didn't have enough space to showcase the full garden path, but I was able to fit about 90% of it.

Every time I do work on the roof, I get more optimistic about the time it will take to complete it. In my scheduling for the remainder of the build, the roof is allotted the most time because it is the biggest unknown for me. I've long assumed that it will take as much time as any of the individual wings have taken to complete, but that is now looking to be a vast overestimation. I still have to complete the chimneys, woodwork,and flat roof sections for the master wing.

Edging

This week, I begin to tackle the guest wing and carport. My first attempt at the carport last year, it turns out, is not long enough. The last thing I did today was work out the measurements for the garden side of the guest wing. I built a story stick using LEGO plates so that I have a very straightforward reference to work from later this week - instead of worrying about counting studs, I can just hold the story stick up against the wall as I work.

Completing the guest wing will mean that I am done with the walls. I'm very excited!

Hidden Spaces

posted Mar 25, 2015, 7:54 PM by Jameson Gagnepain

Hidden Spaces

One of Wright's reasons for giving Wingspread 4 wings was for a separation of public and private spaces. Even today, when you go on a tour of the house, there are areas you are not allowed into. Many areas of the building are rarely photographed (inside and out). Above is the servants' wing courtyard. Its walls are high enough that the casual observer is unable to peek inside. Wright even hides the door to the kitchen area behind a second set of walls.

Below is a set of planters built into the side of the house near the pool. It seems few visitors think to photograph these - in my months of looking at photos online, I've never come across a close-up shot of them.

Hidden Spaces

As you can perhaps tell from the photos, I'm running low on tan tiles... Time to stock up on a few more parts before the home stretch!  Sections left to finish:
  • Carport/Guest wing
  • Pool area hardscaping
  • Garden
  • Servants' Courtyard (windows, patio)
  • Roof
Hidden Spaces

QR Code

posted Mar 23, 2015, 6:21 PM by Jameson Gagnepain   [ updated Mar 23, 2015, 6:29 PM ]

Building Wingspread QR Code

I've been considering building a scannable QR code for BuildingWingspread.com for some time now. Yesterday, my wife and I went on a tour of Wingspread, and I felt inspired to complete this. The red signature block was used by Wright on some of his later homes, as a sort of "stamp of approval". 

During the tour, I was able to take a lot of pictures of areas of the building that very few people think to take photos of. As a result I'll be able to make every area of the model accurate, not just the parts that people see more often. 

One other side effect of the tour is the ability to refine my scale more. By comparing lengths of sections on the blueprints with the sizing and number of real bricks used, I can define a better scale standard for wall and window heights in my model. I'm still working out the math, but at the moment it looks like I will have to revisit every section to make it slightly shorter. Not too big a deal for brick sections, but windows may need a redesign all around. 

Ramping Up

posted Mar 19, 2015, 7:02 PM by Jameson Gagnepain

Ramping Up

Today I began on the servants' wing wall which borders the garden. I've continued the occasional tile "bricks" in the 1x2 plate walls, and I'm quite happy with it. The rest of this wall will have to wait until I get a good look at the real thing when I take my tour of the house this weekend.

Trying to keep my pace up, I got a start on working out the roof sloping tonight as well:

Ramping Up

The Wingspread roof is quite unique - one side of each wing's roof is shallow, while the other is steep. Meanwhile, there are trellises all over the place, and lots of sections of grey flat roof as well. 

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