On my recent trip to the US I took the three-and-a-half hour drive from Washington, DC to rural Pennsylvania to visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. It's a wonderful house and a surprisingly moving work of architecture (actually, until a recent refurbishment, it was literally moving, as the cantilever was threatening to tip into the water ... our guide told us that Wright miscalculated the amount of steel required in the concrete, and even though the engineer added more during construction, it still wasn't enough to ensure its long-term stability). Anyway, here's the classic view of the house from a short way down the river.
We approached the house down a path from the visitor centre up the hill. The view below is one of the first we saw, as we crossed a bridge towards the home's entry. The stairs in the photo descend from the living room to the stream. The wall at lower right is the edge of a swimming pool positioned in the stream, requested by Mrs. Kaufman.
The photo below shows our group at the home's entrance. The tour I'd chosen took us to every room in the house, and we were also allowed to take photographs inside. You can see in this image how the home's structure reaches back into the rock face behind it for extra stability.
Here's the kitchen, used not by the Kaufmanns, but by their cook, who accompanied them on the family's visits to the house. It's a pretty simple affair, with great views towards the stream and also across the main terrace off the living area.
The living area had to be dismantled for the home's recent refurbishment, when extra reinforcement was added to the floor to stabilise the cantilever, but now it looks much as it did when the Kaufmanns occupied the house, with a stone floor, built-in furniture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and a low ceiling that enhances the sense of drama and spaciousness when you walk out onto the terrace.
This view of the living area and the fireplace shows the way Frank Lloyd Wright accommodated natural rock formations in the design of the house. The red vessel is a large kettle that swings into position over the fireplace and was used to heat water or mulled wine.
The image below shows the dining area, still part of the large living space. The door at left leads to the kitchen.
This view is from the terrace off the living room, looking back at the dramatic interplay of the strong vertical chimney and the horizontal lines of the terraces. What you don't get in this image is the noise of the water rushing down the falls below, a constant reminder of the way the home hovers over the stream.
And this view is off the stairway leading up from the middle terrace to Edgar Kaufmann Jr's 'apartment' at the top of the house. Edgar Kaufmann Jr had studied under Wright at Taliesin and was instrumental in persuading his parents to hire Wright to design their weekend home. He also gifted the house to the Pennsylvania Conservancy, the reason Fallingwater is now open to the public today.
There's more to come next week - I'll post more images of the main house, and also the guest house further up the hill. But if you're heading to the East Coast of the US and are keen on seeing Fallingwater, you can book your tour at the link here.