Mill Run - Pennsylvania
1936 - 1939
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) - Chicago.

With Fallingwater, designed for the Edgar J. Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh, Wright responded to the family's love for a waterfall on Bear Run, a rushing mountain stream. Mimicking a natural pattern established by its rock ledges, Wright placed the house over the falls in a series of cantilevered concrete "trays", anchored to masonry walls made of the same Pottsville sandstone as the rock ledges. Although the house rises over 30' above the falls, strong horizontal lines and low ceilings help maintain a sheltering effect. Almost as much floor space is taken up by outdoor terraces as indoor rooms.
Given the contour of the land, Wright located the house anchored in the rock next to the falls, jutting over the stream and counterweighted by massing at the back. Wright oriented the house to the southeast as he preferred, extending floors in horizontal bands which echoed rock ledges. The house would hover serenely over the water. Just uphill in a quarry on the property, native Pottsville sandstone was available to compliment the reinforced concrete Wright had in mind for the cantilevered floors. With these materials he needed glass, framed to give pattern and rhythm to the outlook; finally, the chosen trio of materials called for bright, warm coloring to offset the deep grays of the stone and visually inert concrete.
In a house designed for people to live in, these material components and effects would subserve a whole that, inside and out, must be intimate, informal, yet the main living area must be ample. The spaces, sheltered at the rear, would open toward and flow into the space of the wooded valley. The eye of the indweller would be guided outward by low ceilings toward nature, not upward to a grand interior. Light would come from several sides to provide a balanced ambience, and the house and its setting would be interwoven, vibrant with the changing daylight and the seasons' variations.
Building Fallingwater was a complicated and detailed operation, yet the resulting house seems to belong quietly in its setting. It fits into the hillside and extends out over the falls as if it has always belonged there. Within it, the areas for social life, privacy, and service are clearly separated but conveniently linked. Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece continues to unite human life, architectural form, and nature.
[zie ook de eigen website van Fallingwater]

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