Liliane Kaufmann wrote in a note to Wright “Living in a house built by you has been my one education”.
Mine was touring this architectural tour de force!I am sure it’s every architects fantasy to visit this place and visiting Falling waters was nothing less than a dream. Nothing you have ever read or learnt about this master piece can compare to the experience of visiting in person.
Immediately after graduating architecture in 2012, I was visiting my aunt in the U.S.A. for 2 months. She lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia.Since I had just graduated I wanted to visit few iconic , famous architectural buildings we had studied about , the ones within my reach. Even though I was on a break I didn’t want to break away from my roots and I had wanted to make the most of my trip. Since the beginning I have been inclined towards residential architecture and interiors, I think it is my forte. Currently also I work for an interior based firm, my interest has always been in this field. Hence the love for Falling waters.I always knew I had to visit this beauty.After researching for a bit, I found out that Falling waters is just a short drive from my aunts place and it is quite possible to tick off this wish from my bucket list. Hats off to my aunt for driving me this far to see this marvelous house , without her effort this would have definetly not been possible.
The Frank Lyod Wright jewel is nestled within the lush wooded Bear Run Nature Reserve, is a timeless monument to organic architecture at its best.Also listed among Smithsonian’s Life List of 28 places “to visit before you die”, is located in southwest Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands and 90 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh.
Edgar Kaufmann, Sr., was a Pittsburgh businessman and president of Kaufmann’s Department Store. Kaufmann’s hired Wright to design a weekend retreat for his family on a piece of land in Mill Run.
Fallingwater was the family’s weekend home from 1937 until 1963, when Kaufmann, Jr. donated the property to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. In 1964, it was opened to the public as a museum. The house hosts more than 120,000 visitors each year.
One can take a guided tour of the house and experience Frank Lyod Wright’s vision of Falling waters. Get a greater perspective of his design sensibilities.
Also this house is a perfect example of harmony between man and nature. Wright audaciously offered to make the house part of waterfall, stating that the “visit to the waterfall in the woods stays with me and a domicile takes shape in my mind to the music of the stream.” The constant sounds of nature through the house will appeal one the most. Especially in the living area , a stairway leads directly down to the stream below, thus sound of its water permeate the house. This is the most calm space of the house. I would wish too spend most of my time here,given a chance. He choose to build the house right on top of the waterfall,instead of a house envisioned across from the waterfall.
As we all know the house opens out to various balconies and open spaces.Every space leads to a open space which reaches out into their surroundings. A Lot of importance is given to details , from fixing of windows to flooring to interiors. This house is a mecca for details. Everywhere your eye can take you , you will find something interesting or something to learn. This residence also houses some of the most famous originals of the most famous painters like Pablo Picasso which in itself was a revelation and a first time for me. I was in awe of everything the house had to offer and literally in tears by the end of the tour.
One hour is definitely not enough to gauge the brilliance of this architectural landmark. But the fact that I got to see it,tour it, was very inspiring.
The Guided House Tour allows children six-years-and older to enjoy the house with their parents. This tour features all the major rooms of the house and lasts approximately one hour. You are welcome to walk the exterior grounds after the tour. Photography is not permitted during this tour.
There are several other in depth tours of the house which I wish to do some other time. As i was pressed for time and my aunt was waiting for me this is all I could manage. But this itself was such a surreal and unforgettable experience.
Kaufmann, jr. years later said, “[Wright] understood that people were creatures of nature, hence an architecture which conformed to nature would conform to what was basic in people. For example, although all of Falling Water [sic] is opened by broad bands of windows, people inside are sheltered as in a deep cave, secure in the sense of the hill behind them.”
I hope more people and architects get to see this house and hence I share my experience.It is indeed once in a lifetime experience. Truly words are not enough to explain this “America’s Favorite Architecture”( it was ranked 29th in the year 2007).