For this Couple, Steel’s All Wright
In Rhinebeck, NY—roughly 400 miles northwest of Mill Run, PA—there is a minicompound of three Steel Buildings situated together amongst many trees. One of the buildings functions as a home, the other a garage, and the third a studio. The three buildings are pleasing enough to look at and all feature a Quonsetstyle form with arched roofs and many vertical windows that mimic the length of the trees that surround them. Passersby may think it curious that owners Andy Weintraub and his wife chose steel buildings instead of a more customary material like wood, but the Weintraub’s had a plan. Whether they realized it at the time or not, that plan utilized ‘organic architecture’, a term coined by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
A sevenhour drive from the Weintraub’s home would find them at Mill Run, which is where Wright’s most famous structure can be found—one that many say best typifies organic architecture. Known as ‘Fallingwater’ or ‘Kaufmann Residence’, this private home was commissioned as a nature retreat for the owners, and Wright did not disappoint. By its definition, organic architecture is a philosophy which promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world through design approaches so sympathetic and well integrated with its site that buildings, furnishings, and surroundings become part of a unified, interrelated composition. Fallingwater is built on top of an active waterfall which flows beneath the house. The fireplace hearth in the living room integrates boulders found on the site and upon which the house was built— ledge rock which protrudes up to a foot through the living room floor was left in place to demonstrably link the outside
with the inside. The stone floors are waxed, while the hearth is left plain, giving the impression of dry rocks protruding from a stream. Now, while differences abound between Fallingwater and the Weintraub’s steel residence, the couple’s concerted efforts to integrate the inside with the outside point directly to Wright’s penchant for organic architecture. But why did the couple begin with a steel building?
“We spent a lot of money on our land and needed to build something that wasn’t too expensive,” says Weintraub, who bought all three buildings from SteelMaster Buildings in Virginia Beach, VA. “The nice thing about the SteelMaster building is that its simplicity is what allows you to do with it what you will. There are no interior posts or supporting walls so you can divide the space any way you see fit.” SteelMaster offers unique custom solutions for pre fabricated building applications such as architectural design, affordable steel housing, athletic facilities, salt storage, retail stores/business facilities, as well as specialty buildings such as bus stops, smoke shacks, doggie dorms, churches, and more. “Whether it is a unique application for our standard Metal Buildings or a design that requires additional support from an architect or engineer, SteelMaster has years of steel building experience in solving building and design challenges,” says Michelle Wickum, the director of marketing for SteelMaster. “This uniquely qualifies us in the industry to competently address questions and concerns, and then professionally create solutions that will work, structurally, functionally, and aesthetically.” Weintraub says both he and his wife have been actively engaged in building and designing their own homes for their entire marriage—which they will celebrate in August on their 50 th wedding anniversary. Being that their SteelMaster home was the seventh that they have built, they had a good idea of what they wanted.
“The SteelMaster structures were designed by my wife and me, and we utilized the sweeping curves of the SteelMaster buildings,” says Weintraub. “We wanted a low maintenance, ecofriendly residence and work space which also had some "character", and, to our minds, beauty. We decided to use natural materials found on the property within the house, including stone and trees.” On the inside of their steel building, they sprayed 4" of polyurethane, which provides a very high "R" value for insulation, and, because it is applied in one continuous application, there is no air infiltration around windows, electric outlets, etc. After the polyurethane cured, it was covered (sprayed) with Monocote, a light weight mixture of cement, fiberglass, and vermiculite, which serves as a thermal barrier and a finish. The Weintraub’s are pleased with the final look of all three of their buildings, and say it provides the perfect amount of space for when family comes to visit. “We have only one official bedroom in the house, although we have rooms that can serve as such,” says Weintraub. When our children and grandchildren visit, we can sleep a total of sixteen, with more room on the floor. We have a total of three and a half bathrooms between the house and the studio, which serves as guest quarters. We’ve definitely recommended this type of construction to many people…we love it.” For More Information Steel Buildings Visit SteelMasterUsa.com
Published on Apr 13, 2011
SteelMaster offers unique custom solutions for pre fabricated building applications such as architectural design, affordable steel housing,...