Lilliane S. and Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr. Residence, “Fallingwater” (1938)
Mill Run, Pennsylvania
One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most well-known buildings, it was amazing to finally see it in person. It is on Life’s 28 places to visit before you die and it really does it justice. This was the Kaufmanns’ vacation home away from the city, hidden away deep into the woods, overlooking a waterfall. The structure grows so naturally out of the ground and among the trees, with trees growing “through” the house in some instances. (These trees soon died because either ends of the tree were experiencing exterior/interior temperatures) The impressive cantilevered balconies overlook the waterfall and boldly accentuate the horizontality of the building. The stone was dug up from a nearby quarry, so the masonry cladding blends with the surrounding rocks. Without the need for structural mullions, the vertical window frames can be moved, making the corners disappear and horizontally framing a view of the nature. (a) The little details of the house really amazed me. The windows are cut precisely framing the shapes of the stone masonry, joined into the stone without any frames. Similarly, the wooden door frames are cut in the shape of the stone, showcasing a tremendous attention to detail. (b) This makes the glass disappear into the house and sit into the natural irregularity of the stone. The house integrates itself into nature and allows it users to feel, see, hear, and smell its surroundings while living in the house.