Fallingwater is the forest lodge that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for Mr Edgar Kaufman his wife Liliane and their son Edgar Jr. It is found in the Allegheny Mountains south of Pittsburgh near the West Virginia Line.
Wright had shown the plan of the house was thought of from the concept of his Prairie Houses. The plan of a cruciform penetrating into a square can be seen here.
The building itself is joined by cross loads in between the places making the outer edges free to interact with the natural area and the back wall of the house steps along the approach road which mimics the natural rock wall of the hill behind it. The plan uses a cantilever system of floors and parallels walls and columns which hold the main area of the house. There is one central great room which is created by two columns, a fireplace and entrance wall of the living room which allows a central area to be created and the corners of the space opens to the entrance, the staircase, the kitchen and balconies. This kind of style is usually found on the first floor of Wright’s prairie houses.
The beauty of the house does not come from the building itself but from the site where its placed in especially the Bear Run River that flows below it and that is what we see first when n we go near the building. We can see the character and natural features of the landscape. But we do not see the building as it does not dominate the area but blends well in its surroundings. As we approach the building even closer we see the group of horizontal terraces that look like as if they are floating in the air without any physical support. Usually, when people first approach the building they expect to see the perspective view that they see in photos which are taken below the falls.
There is a bridge that connects the approach road to the house it is an important part of the house as this is the only a connection to the main access road. The bridge is paved with grey-blue flagstones which are continued on the living room floor. On the inside of the building, the flagstones have been waxed and polished to give them a shiny and reflective appearance. It tries to reflect moving water under the building. Wright may have tried to show the element of the moving water into the building itself. In the house, we can see the association of it with the element of water. Although the house may look like it may have too many elements, we see it come together on the opposite bank of the river where Wright had drawn his perspective and visualised the house.
Fallingwater is different and unique when we compare it to other buildings of Wright’s work. It is a continuous in time kind of a building with the nature in its surroundings that grows around it. Therefore Rudolph described the house as a “realized dream”. It is as magical and beautiful as a stream of white water or an early morning mist.
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