This past weekend, my family and I ventured out to Fallingwater, the architectural masterpiece designed by the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright.
Built on top of a waterfall, Fallingwater was constructed in 1937, and housed the Kaufmann family until 1962, when Edgar Kaufmann Jr. deeded it and the surrounding 1,500 acres to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The entire house, the guest house, and 90% of the furniture was designed by Wright, and it cost about $130,000 (around $2.3 million today with inflation) even though the original budget was to be $20,000. Thankfully, the Kaufmanns decided the extra cost was worth it!
My tour lasted an hour, and we got to see the entire house and guesthouse. Since it was raining, tour guests weren’t permitted on the balconies without umbrellas to avoid excess moisture being brought back into the house. Of course, such precautions are necessary to ensure longevity of the home. It was such a cool experience; every room, every hallway, every shower was meticulously thought out, unlike any modern-built home I’ve ever seen.
Wright didn’t disrupt any of the natural landscape when he built the house. If there were boulders in the way, he built around them and incorporated them into the design. For example, you can actually step on a giant boulder while inside the house. And, it serves as both a kitchen counter and the hearth for the fireplace. Another cool aspect is a corner of the house inside Edgar Jr.’s study that’s made up entirely of windows. And when you opened these windows, the corner disappeared. There was no post, no window panes, nothing between you and the outside and the falling water below. Wright wanted to bring nature into the family’s lives at every opportunity.
I highly recommend, if ever presented with the chance, that you check out not only Fallingwater, but any of Wright’s other masterpieces, like the nearby Kentuck Knob, Oregon’s Gordon House, or so many others!