Unique architectural constructions around the world (P.16) – Fallingwater (USA) : The masterpiece of a villa on top of a waterfall

09-11-2020

(WorldKings.org) In Mill Run, Pennsylvania in the Bear Run Nature Reserve where a stream flows at 1298 feet above sea level and suddenly breaks to fall at 30 feet, Frank Lloyd Wright designed an extraordinary house known as Fallingwater that redefined the relationship between man, architecture, and nature.

The house was built as a weekend home for owners Mr. Edgar Kaufmann, his wife, and their son, whom he developed a friendship with through their son who was studying at Wright's school, the Taliesin Fellowship.

The waterfall had been the family's retreat for fifteen years and when they commissioned Wright to design the house they envisioned one across from the waterfall, so that they could have it in their view. Instead, Wright integrated the design of the house with the waterfall itself, placing it right on top of it to make it a part of the Kaufmanns' lives.

The house was meant to complement its site while still competing with the drama of the falls and their endless sounds of crashing water. The power of the falls is always felt, not visually but through sound, as the breaking water could constantly be heard throughout the entire house.

Wright revolved the design of the house around the fireplace, the heart of the home which he considered to be the gathering place for the family. Here a rock cuts into the fireplace, physically bringing in the waterfall into the house. He also brings notice to this concept by dramatically extending the chimney upwards to make it the highest point on the exterior of the house.

The circulation through the house consists of dark, narrow passageways, intended this way so that people experience a feeling of compression when compared to that of expansion the closer they get to the outdoors. The ceilings of the rooms are low, reaching only up to 6'4" in some places, in order to direct the eye horizontally to look outside. The beauty of these spaces is found in their extensions towards nature, done with long cantilevered terraces. Shooting out at a series of right angles, the terraces add an element of sculpture to the houses aside from their function.

The perfection of these details perfected the house itself, and even though the house tends to have structural problems that need constant maintenance due to its location, there is no question that Fallingwater, now a National Historic Landmark, is a work of genius. From its daring cantilevers to its corner window detail and the constant sound of the waterfall, Fallingwater is the physical and spiritual occurrence of man and architecture in harmony with nature.

According to archdaily.com


Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union - WorldKings.org)

 

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