The 50 by 50:
An Estate STILL in the Making!

  • Date
    September 12, 2017
  • Author
    Gerald V. Casale
  • Tags:
    Meis Van Der Rohe, Architecture, The Fifty by Fifty, Construction

Photographic Proof

When we at the 50 by 50 created our website we may have jumped the gun with our banner that proclaimed “A Vision Realized”. In fairness we should have inserted the word “Almost”.

Our eagerness to share the plan for realizing Mies Van Der Rohe’s unbuilt masterpiece with you caused us to engage in a big dose of optimism. Mies’s plan was drawn up 67 years ago. Since de-evolution is real, the supreme simplicity of his glass, steel and concrete design has become infinitely harder and technically complex to construct.

Codes have become far stricter and building permits for this type of modern structure almost impossible to secure. Though it has taken more than twice as long as we anticipated you can see by the photographs below that document step by step construction what has for too long been a 3-D computer rendering is now well on the way to existing in the flesh.

First, we were charged with needing to create a subterranean level to fulfill current foundation requirements. Mies’s simple concrete pad was no longer an option.

Next we covered the subterranean level to create the ground level floor of the 50 by 50 house itself.

Very soon now the “ALMOST” will disappear and our vision for our brand will be truly realized and ready to share with wine lovers from around the world.

Gerald V. Casale

After that achievement the central, rectangular loadbearing core of the 50’ x 50’ square house was put in place.

Temporary vertical steel roof supports were then erected in the center of each of the four sides of the house’s exterior glass wall footing allowing the pre-constructed, on-site steel roof to be hoisted into place by crane.

Next, the permanent steel supports with precision tracks for the glass walls will replace the temporary ones. Once that happens the 8, 10’ x 25’ glass walls (resting in crates delivered to the site as pictured) can be positioned 2 to each side to seal the structure, allowing interior work to proceed come rain or shine.

The glass had to be manufactured in China (see the photo of the factory workers there) since no current manufacturer in the United States would step up to the plate. It was transported across the Pacific Ocean via cargo ship and the crated glass panels were trucked up Monticello Rd in Napa, CA to our vineyard property via a flatbed semi truck.

Far away from the 50 by 50 house up on a plinth to the Northeast of the property is our completed barn (see pix). It ready to house our wine and winemaking apparatus in the near future after temperature-controlled spaces are created inside.