Fallingwater By Frank Lloyd Wright
Posted 02 July 2012 - 02:25 PM
Just in case you don't know, Wright designed this house at the top of a water fall in woods. Bear Run flows under part of the living/dining room, and there are steps from that space down to the stream. The ceilings are not high, and the windows and terraces allow the rushing water and the forest to come in, so to speak, at least in sound and light. I was blown away by how well Wright succeeded in melding the construction and the environment.
The key to the construction is the cantilever. Around a core building, terraces jut out sideways, supported by just a column or two and otherwise by the counterweight in and behind the core. This allows effects like that of the stream flowing beneath part of the living room. I had had the mistaken impression from photos that the water flows under the entire building, but that's not so. Instead it is built on and anchored in the native rock and just the edge juts over the water.
Wright built it for Edgar Kaufmann Sr., Mrs. K and their only son, Edgar Jr. they got rich owning Kaufmann's department store in Pittsburgh. K made it possible for his employees to vacation in the woods near the village of Fallingwater, and that's how he became acquainted with the landscape and got the idea to build his woodland retreat there. The house made such a stir in the architectural community (finished I think in 1939) that it made the cover of Time magazine and propelled Wright to stardom. Integrating building and environment was a key principle for Wright.
In 1963 Edgar Jr., by then a curator at the Met Art Mus. in NYC, donated the house as a museum. Anyone who is into architecture should see it if you're in that part of the world.
Posted 02 July 2012 - 02:32 PM
Color me green
What Ficino saw
I wished I'd seen
Living under the rise of tyranny.
Posted 02 July 2012 - 03:09 PM
Posted 02 July 2012 - 03:27 PM
Posted 02 July 2012 - 03:32 PM
By the time Edgar Jr. gave it up, both parents were dead. I believe Mrs. K died of a heart attack there while making grape jelly (?). Edgar Jr. was very into his job in NYC and life there, and it is quite a trip from there to the house in western PA, so he wasn't going there much. He gave it to the Western PA. Conservancy (I think that's the name), a land conservation trust started by his father. The trust is very committed to keeping the house as Edgar Jr. left it, complete with all Edgar's books and journals there, furniture, etc. everything except clothing.
That's really nice. I just love FLW so much, I don't think I'd ever leave the house! The Darwin house in Buffalo has a fascinating rags to riches to rags story. The owner came from nothing, to running a soap factory, to losing everything in the depression. His widow walked out the front door with her servants and left everything in it. It was empty for 13 years. It would make a great movie.
Posted 02 July 2012 - 11:48 PM
Some of us were discussing Frank Lloyd Wright a while back. I was thrilled to get to Fallingwater in western Pennsylvania on Sunday and take a tour of this incredible house.
Ahhhhhhh. Water fall. . .woods. . . stream. . . that sounds like perfection. . . <sigh>
<FIT OFJEALOUSY> <eyes glow green>
<slaps her thigh>
That's it! I'm moving in! They can find room for me in a closet somewhere, I'm sure!
<grabs her Hello Kitty backpack, and begins tossing stuff into it>
"All right, then, I'll go to hell." Mark Twain
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