Click for LARGE photo
[Fallingwater from southwest lookout]
View 5 from the lookout above the stream (Bear Run), from southwest. Frank Lloyd Wright planned the house with this view in mind.
The stream flows roughly parallel to (and partially under) the house, but breaks at an angle at the falls. The sound of the flowing water fills the house continually. The cantilevered levels symbolically resonate with the rock ledges below. The supports that can be seen under the terrace are a temporary measure while repairs are made.
Original photo, taken by the webmaster.
Click here or on photo for much larger (1536x1024 pixel, 523k) version.

Wright, as described earlier, found freedom of construction and planning in cantilevered forms, especially those made of reinforced concrete. In this material steel rods join with cement and gravel, hardening into an amalgam of great strength, if properly fabricated. The cantilevered, horizontal elements of Fallingwater were cast in reinforced concrete and finished with a coat of matte, sandy, warm-tinted paint. Where necessary, the slabs were cast with extra rods and concrete, forming integral beams. The slabs may be considered in two ways, as floor and as ceilings.

Floors are level, with upturned edges (parapets) that give extra rigidity to the horizontal planes, just as the sides of a cardboard box make it stronger than a flat sheet would be. Lifted above the floor slabs by thin ribs of concrete lies a layer of redwood covered with roofing paper and loose sand to receive rippled flagstone quarried on the property, as is all the stone used. Air space between slab and redwood acts as insulation. Ceilings are also cast in reinforced concrete, strengthened by folding, which gives a stepped appearance. Naturally, some slabs act as both ceilings (below) and floors (above). Reinforced concrete that permits cantilevering is the primary material of Fallingwater.

- Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., Fallingwater: A Frank Lloyd Wright Country House, p. 109.

[LAST]        [NEXT]

Go to the Fallingwater pictures (photos thumbnail preview) page.

Go to a descriptive list (table of contents including medium and large photos).