Click for LARGE photo
[Fallingwater from path near southwest lookout]
A view through the woods from the path near the lookout above the stream (Bear Run), from southwest. Frank Lloyd Wright planned the house with this view in mind.
Parts of the cantilevered house - especially the terraces - seem to float in the air above the stream (Bear Run). The soaring vertical tower (on the left in the photo) rises more than three stories, windows stretching from floor to ceiling, creating a continuous column of glass, broken only by narrow steel support beams, painted an earthy brick-red. The tower serves as a visual and literal anchor for the cantilevered floors and the terraces that further extend them. While the vertical and horizontal lines demarcate the geometry of the house and its boundaries, there is at the same time an interpenetration of vertical and horizontal, and of inside and outside. There are many examples, but several are at least partly visible in the picture. Window corner treatments throughout the house (and guest house), which suggest little barrier between inside and outside, are yet another reminder that Frank Lloyd Wright found creative ways to go escape the box and reconnect with nature. For more discussion of these treatments, see Fallingwater west tower. Also, above the far terrace extending out from the living room is a trellis with large rectangular openings (just visible in the extreme far right of the photo). It extends out horizontally from the living room ceiling, but is vertically open to the sky. It seems to be paired with the stairs leading down to the stream from the living room through a hatchway; see the view from the east side of the living room. For other examples of harmonization of vertical and horizontal, and of inside and outside, see the explanation under the beautiful fall photo of Fallingwater.
Original photo, taken by the webmaster.
Click here or on photo for much larger (978x1467 pixel, 514k) version.

Why does a house designed by an architectural individualist for the special purposes of a special client appeal so much to the public in general? And what does it contribute to the art of architecture if its character is so circumscribed? One part of the answer is that Fallingwater is a happy flowering of Frank Lloyd Wright's genius, a great work of art. Yet underneath the effects of great art - however masterly and ingenious - there lies a consistency of the whole. To understand this quality one must consider those principles that guided the artist. In Wright's statements his principles are denoted by words embodying deep intuitions: organic, democratic, plasticity, continuity. During careful study of his texts and his architecture, I have come to believe that these terms present different aspects of one central insight. To Wright, architecture was a great inclusive agency through which humankind adapted the environment to human needs and, reciprocally, attuned human life to its cosmos; amid continual changes architecture could keep human life more natural and nature more humane. This idea pervades Fallingwater in accord with the aims of both architect and client, and gives it not only basic meaning but also powerful subliminal appeal.

- Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., Fallingwater: A Frank Lloyd Wright Country House, p. 31.

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