Monday, September 21, 2009

Frank Lloyd Wright

In high school, I was set on being an Architecture major and during that time span and even through now, Frank Lloyd Wright has been one of my favorite architects. Compared to others in his line of work and during his working years, he, to me, seemed to always think outside of the box & go one step further with his work, which I love to always try to do.

One of my favorite designs by him was the notorious Fallingwater house near Pittsburgh, PA. Fallingwater was built in 1934 and took three years to complete. It is considered to be a Modernism style and based on the design, I would consider it very modern for its time period.

The idea for Fallingwater came about by Wright saying one simple sentence over drinks at Fallingwater's resident, Kaufmann's, previous home. Wright was speaking with Kaufmann's son when he stated "...this house is not worthy of your parents". Kaufmann had overheard that statement & thus, Fallingwater was born.

It took Wright nine months to finalize the design. In the end, Kaufmann was surprised to see that the house was going to be built above the falls and not underneath like he had anticipated. "The construction was plagued by conflicts between Wright, Kaufmann and the construction contractor. The view of the building is such that the falls can be heard when inside the building, but the falls are visible only when standing on the balcony on the topmost floor. This type of geometrical architecture mystery has even puzzled the architect Wright himself." (Wikipedia).

The house was completed in October of 1937 and in the end cost $155,000, which in 2007 would be equivalent to $2.3 million. In 1963, Kauffman and his family donated the house to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the house currently gets up to 135,000 visitors a year.


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