On a recent business retreat to the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania I took the opportunity to go see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water.
I had wanted to see Falling Water for a long time but every time I planned a visit something came up and I had to cancel. Since I was going to be 15 minutes away for a corporate retreat it was meant to be.
When I saw first saw Falling Water as I walked up to the house it was more than I ever imagined. The architecture engulfs the natural landscape instead of just being built beside it.
Frank Lloyd Wright started the design on Falling Water in 1935 for philanthropist, businessman and patron of the arts Edgar J Kaufman. Kaufman was the owner of the Kaufmann’s department store in Pittsburgh.
Falling Water was built as a private retreat and weekend home for the Kaufmann family. Edgar Kaufman was an outdoorsman and enjoyed this large piece of land in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania which he used for corporate retreats before the construction of Falling Water.
Frank Lloyd Wright built Falling Water 30 feet over the existing waterfall. He did not want the house to be beside the waterfall but over it. The house is built from natural sandstone and other materials from the property. It is a prime example of organic architecture, the merger of nature and architecture in one. Falling Water is a UNESCO world heritage site.
It a perfect model of indoor and outdoor living. In this case the house had been build over and around nature as not to disturb the surrounding natural environment. It is more stunning to see in person when you are inside the house, especially on the terraces where you can experience the convergence of nature and architectural design. The sound of the waterfall is mesmerizing!
Most of the furniture was designed by Wright to fit in within the bounds of the design of the house and surrounding nature. It is modern but organic and in fitting with the natural setting. The furniture and original art is in very good condition.
In 1939 Frank Lloyd Wright built the guest house and pool that is connected to the house by a breezeway. The guest house melds into the landscape and is built a bit higher than the main house.
One hour tours are given from March to December but you need advance reservations so book online to make sure you have access to this marvel of modern architecture.