Back in 2010, I had the pleasure of spending two weeks studying at Fallingwater through the High School Residency Program. It was my first, real immersion in the world of architecture, and looking back, it may have well been the best thing for me as a designer. I came to the program a clean slate, knowing nothing about design in general, and I came out of it purely under the influence of Wright’s work. Even today I find myself severely influenced by the philosophies Fallingwater holds.
Fallingwater is the man-made, physical embodiment of what Wright liked to call, “the ultimate religion: Nature with a capital N.” Being the epitome of harmony between man and Nature, Fallingwater upholds the strongest belief in organic architecture. By being built on a waterfall, the house does not just exist in space — it cooperates with it.
The program changed my perspective on Nature completely. Surprisingly enough, I’m beginning to find my designs increasingly Wright-esque and organically inclined. As an architect, especially one studying in Phoenix, where sustainability is one of the biggest concerns, I try to be as inspired by Nature as possible.
However, it is not only the sustainability aspect we should be striving for — it is how our designs fit within our Natural space. Fallingwater is an excellent example of just how delicate architecture can be with Nature. From the exterior, locally quarried stone walls and cantilevered terraces bear a resemblance to, but do not entirely copy, the neighboring rock foundations. This, along with the sounds of the waterfall, create a soothing, natural rhythm within the house.
From the interior, the broad expanses of the windows essentially frame the surrounding art that Nature provides. The wax on the stone flooring creates a wet look, while the pure stone walls create a sense of dry rock — thus producing the effect of being in a creek.
Fallingwater is a direct reflection of the philosophies held by Frank. His most inspirational force, above everything else, was Nature. By strictly focusing on Nature, he believed he could reveal the truth behind it, and somehow blend it into his designs. In fact, he told the Kaufmanns, his clients, that he wanted them to live within the waterfall. Frank had an idea for them to make the falls part of their home — and essentially part of their lives.
Fallingwater is one of the strongest examples of how architecture can benefit Nature, architects, interior designers, and artists in general, and I am beginning to appreciate the relationship between man and Nature, courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright.
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature — it will never fail you.” — Frank Lloyd Wright
- Fallingwater contradictory (daanico.wordpress.com)
- Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater (nicholasjbarnes.com)
- Angelina Jolie buys Brad Pitt £12m HEART-SHAPED ISLAND for 50th birthday (mirror.co.uk)
- Frank Lloyd Wright The Houses – Alan Hess (madamespeed.wordpress.com)
- Frank Lloyd Wright: Natural Design, Organic Architecture: Lessons for Building Green from an American Original - (madamespeed.wordpress.com)
- Madison committee nears recommendations for block hosting Frank Lloyd Wright designed home (host.madison.com)
- Video tour of Angelina and Brad Pitt’s £12m HEART-SHAPED ISLAND will blow your mind (mirror.co.uk)
- Chicago, USA: With Sarah Keenan-Jones (globalandsmartblog.com)
- Kaufmann (newsfeed.kosmograd.com)
- What Frank Lloyd Wright’s Palmer House Can Teach Us About Relaxation (PHOTOS) (wonderfultips.wordpress.com)