I know most of you in the DC area have had a very stressful week, dealing with the repercussions of last Friday’s storm. The storm left power outages that seemed to take forever to resolve, and because it was right in the middle of an intense heat wave, it even more difficult to deal with. Here’s hoping that most of you have gotten your power back.
I’ve been monitoring the weather forecast for this weekend and, I’m sorry to say, there’s no sign of relief from this relentless heat and humidity.
Let’s not dwell on the stressful times of this past week, let us look forward to better times. It’s now time to relax in your air-conditioned house with your popcorn and a glass of something cool to drink because it’s Friday and it’s HomeSpirations movie day!
A Wonder in Architectural Design
Today, we’re going to view a 5,330 square foot house, it is a mountain retreat that was built between 1936 and 1939. The Smithsonian’s Life magazine lists it as one of the 28 places to put on your bucket list. In 1991, the American Institute of Architects, named this house the best all-time work of American architecture. In 2007, the same group ranked it 29th on the list of America’s Favorite Architecture. It’s referred to by architectural critics as a house ahead of it’s time.
It is built over a waterfall in Western Pennsylvania in the Bear Run Nature Reserve and is described as “a timeless monument to organic architecture at its best.”
The house I’m talking about is Fallingwater, and it has been a National Historic Landmark since 1996.
What’s so special about this house? The legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright built this innovative house to give you the illusion that it’s not standing on solid ground, but instead it stretches out over a 30’ waterfall. His love of Japanese architecture is very evident in the design of Fallingwater, particularly in the way he unites the exterior and interior spaces and exhibits the harmony that exists between man and nature.
Let me give you a brief background of Fallingwater.
Frank Lloyd Wright knew that his clients, the Kaufmanns, were nature lovers just like him. He also knew that the Kaufmanns loved the waterfall on their plot of land and decided to incorporate the falls into the design of their house. His rationale to the Kaufmann’s was that he wanted them to live with the waterfalls, making them a part of the Kauffmans’ everyday life.
Frank Lloyd Wright envisioned a unified and organic house, which made the color scheme somewhat limited. You will however, see his signature color of Cherokee red for the steel work and a light ochre for the concrete.
Today, PPG Pittsburgh Paints, working in conjunction with Fallingwater, has developed eco-friendly paints that are able withstand the environmental challenges of the site.
The preservation society, named in 1963 to oversee Fallingwater, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, commissioned a major structural repair in 2002. The Conservancy had Fallingwater’s beams strenghtened to prevent collapse and future deflection.
Let’s get on with the show.
Fallingwater is a home that I’m really looking forward to visiting soon. I love architects who are innovative in their designs and incorporate eco friendly design. This house is a timeless creation that is every bit as beautiful and meaningful today as it was in 1939. I hope you enjoy experiencing it as much as I have.
Have a fabulous weekend.