Screenshot of the three-dimensional model of the Midway Barn, created based on Point Cloud data.
Shixin Zhao doing on site measurement of the hayloft part at the Midway Barn.
Shixin Zhao and Colin Cohan working on archival records.
The group photo of the CAC team underneath the Midway Barn.
At Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, I worked as a Research Fellow of the Center for Architectural Conservation (CAC) this summer. We have John Hinchman, Colin Cohan, Yi-Ju Chen and Qianhui Ni on our team working together on this project.
During this internship, I worked on documentation, recording and building survey of the Midway Barn. The Midway Barn is a critical part of the Taliesin Fellowship, as well as a reflection of Frank Lloyd Wright’s thoughts on nature and agricultural life. However, the physical condition of this house is not promising, and there is very limited documentation about it. Our team’s work, including modeling, photograph, evolution research and condition survey, was to help the Taliesin preservation team improve this issue, so that the significance of this barn is valued as well as better interpreted through management approaches.
At Taliesin, we examined the Point Cloud data collected from last year’s CAC team, and then did some field measurement and photo documentation. With the support of these data, we produced a three-dimensional model of the Midway Barn by using the software such as Sketchup and Recap Pro. At the same time, we also conducted surveys of the building evolution and condition, and then visualized it to form the report. The construction logic and the present condition of this barn was very confusing and presented us with a great challenge. Thanks to the guidance and encouragement we received from John Hinchman and the preservation manager of Taliesin, Ryan Hewson, to make us completed this task.
This internship was a good chance to testify my knowledge learned from the first year of our program. For instance, the modeling and drawing part, greatly applied and expanded on what I had learned in Digital Media (HSPV 624) and Documentation and recording (HSPV 600), such as the data processing steps in software like Point Cloud data in Agisoft, Recap Pro and AutoCAD. Meanwhile, the knowledge from courses like Theories (HSPV 660) and Building Pathology (HSPV 555) is well practiced during our condition survey process. It was a wonderful experience for me to go form theories in the classroom to application in the field.
Furthermore, this summer’s internship has deepened my perception of nature, agriculture, cultural landscape and Wright’s Prairie theory. We hiked with Taliesin’s preservation team, looking at the whole site from a distance, and learned how this place was designed, preserved and managed. Every conversation, presentation and dinner we had together was an unforgettable experience for me.
As a student with an architectural background, Frank Lloyd Wright means a lot to me. Working in Wright’s Taliesin, living in the Tan-ye-Deri, and walking underneath Romeo and Juliet is an experience I never imagined, and thank you CAC for this opportunity!