Sunday, May 1, 2011

T.Russo - Lloyd/Fallingwater House

Fallingwater/Kaufmann Residence by Frank Lloyd Wright

Who cannot enjoy the visual appearance of the Fallingwater house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright? Located in Fayette County in Pennsylvania, the structure was built on a section of a waterfall. The house was designed for the Kaufmann’s – Edgar Kaufmann Sr. who was President of Kaufmann department store and his son, Edgar Kaufmann Jr., who studied architecture under Wright for a short time. The Kaufmann’s owned land that consisted of a waterfall and some cabins, and were used as a retreat for the family. After the cabins became worn down and useless, the development of the Fallingwater House began at Bear Run. Interestingly, man conflicts arose between Wright and the Kaufmanns in regards to the construction of the house. Issues about proper support techniques seemed to cause disagreement and tension among friends. Eventually the house was completed in 1937. After being used as a weekend get-away for the Kaufmann’s from 1937 to 1963, the house was donated Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in 1963, and became a museum for the public in 1964.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s inspiration for the house stems deeply for his fondness of Japanese architecture, and his recognition of harmony between man and nature. Lloyd carefully used spacing techniques incorporated in Japanese design, including the most predominant aspect of waterfall. Upon first look, I immediately envision the house as an elaborate structure belonging to a Columbian drug dealer out of a movie. I picture some seedy characters, well dressed, reclining at the dining area eating lobster for breakfast, living in the ill-gotten riches the lifestyle has provided, but no sense of true fulfillment. I find the house aesthetically pleasing due to it’s secluded location and of course the waterfall. The structure does not bring to mind any imaginative, fantasy attributes I felt with Gehry’s structures, but instead brings to mind dedication and discipline – probably due to it’s detailed and box-like geometry.

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