Sunday, July 13, 2014

Falling for Mr. Wright

It's made a lot of lists... as a Places to Visit Before You Die or an Architectural Wonders
And it certainly was at the top of mine as a Places to Go (soon!).

Fallingwater is Frank Lloyd Wrights most acclaimed work, and being a bit of a fan of Mr. Wright, a roadtrip was in order.  

The Kaufman's summer residence sits just outside Uniontown, Pennsylvania on Bear Run amidst Ohiopyle State Park. The 7.5 hour drive from Grand Rapids takes you through some hilly territory of Pennsylvania, leading up to the remotest of locations.
Built in 1935, Fallingwater's attraction is its three cantilevered balconies that suspend over the river, defying all architectural and structural odds.... though to be fair, they have needed some rehab over the years.  
I admire the way the home blends into it's setting, incorporating the environment without overtaking it. The balconies are  painted a shade of taupe to match the color the rhododendron leaves turn after they fall to the ground. Water can be heard throughout most of the home, and behind the home, up the hill, a spring feeds into and fills a pool at the guest house (not shabby for a guest house... even has a Picasso hanging in there... you know, the Kaufman's trash art that they didn't want on display at their main home in Pittsburgh). But my favorite part of the home, were the stairs that led straight from the living room to the water.
Many FLLW tell-tale signs can be spotted at Fallingwater– Cherokee red paint, low seating, built in furniture, mitered window corners, low-entry ways, etc, etc... but is a one-of-a-kind, stand-out home, that could never be replicated anywhere else.

As astounding of a home as it is (and I'm uber-envious of all those balconies)... I'm having a hard time ranking it against Taliesin, or even FLLW's  Oak Park home. Perhaps it's the fuss that's made over it, perhaps it's that I've seen too much FLLW, but I didn't see anything truly unexpected (except maybe the stairs and the pool).

I also have a hard time listing this as an architectural wonder over many of the things in Europe—which would have been built centuries early without the aid of many tools! Despite that, his use of the river is so ingenious that I'll let him keep the honor!

1 comment :

  1. Want to see a virtual tour of the construction of the home? Check out: Here you can see how the furniture fits as seamlessly into the home as the home does into the river hillside.