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A quote that perfectly defines his entire career in what he calls organic architecture. Organic architecture is a sentient, rational building that would owe its ‘style’ to the integrity with which it was individually fashioned to serve its particular purpose—a ‘thinking’ as well as ‘feeling’ process. – Frank Lloyd Wright.

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In organic architecture the building and site have special relationship which is seen in all of his work. Where the site should be enhanced by the building, and the building derives its form partially from the nature of the site, sometimes by contrast like in fallingwater House. Which
Wright designed for Mr and Mrs Edgar Kaufman in Mill Run, Pennsylvania in Bear Run Nature Reserve. Where a stream flows at 1268 feet above the sea level and suddenly breaks to be a fall at 30feet. Kaufmann and his wife expected a weekend house that would offer views waterfall, instead Wright constructed the house over a waterfall and became one of the most famous 20th century building.

 Wright’s admiration for the Japanese architecture which was important in his inspiration for this house, along with most of his work. Just like in Japanese architecture, Wright wanted to create harmony between man and nature through which he made the house appear to be a part of the nature itself and his integration of the house with the waterfall was successful in doing so. As the house is situated over the waterfall the Kaufman’s will always be able to hear the movement of waterfall and will be aware of the presence of the waterfall. However the waterfall is not visible from the interior. And Wright clearly sums up fallingwater house by ‘the a building should grow easily from its site and be shaped to harmonise with its surroundings.’

Wright’s design typically revolved around the fireplace, which he believed was the gathering place for the family. He as well extended the open-plan living and kitchen over the torrent, to create a large space for the family to socialise on the tight plot. Wright intended the circulation of the building to have a sense of compression when indoors and of expansion when approaching the outdoors. Hence the expansive terraces occupy about half of the building.

The entrance of the house is from the north side. Upon entering the house you look at the floor and gasp, so waxed and polished and brown stone. The walls of the living room, like those of the rest of the house, are the same as the exterior ones, with parts of masonry made from the extracted stone. The room optimises the ‘open plan’ in which one great room with areas for each function. A boulder intrudes through the floor, even before the house was designed, Mr.Kaufmann told Wright that this stone was his favourite place to sit and look at the creek. So Wright made it the core of the house, and topped it with a tall stone fireplace. The chimney rises through the house like a mast, and all the fireplaces in the upper rooms feed into it. Here the ceiling has a pattern which goes round the integrated light fittings, designed specifically for this house. Glass doors slide from the living room to provide access to a staircase that leads down to the river’s edge. 

The second level consist of two bedrooms, three bathrooms and Mr. Kaufman’s office, as well as three terraces and stairs which lead to level three. The first level is quite open and spacious with lot of lights, however the second level has less light compared to the first level even though being private areas. The windows face the forest which avoids any attention.

Fallingwater house is constructed on three levels primarily of reinforced concrete, native sandstone and glass. The house took on “a definite masonry form” that related to the site, and for the terraces they decided on a reinforced-concrete structure. It was first time Wright was working with concrete for residences and though at first he did not have much interest in the material, it had the flexibility to be cast into any shape, and when reinforced with steel it gained an extraordinary tensile strength. The walls of the south form the south exposure and vertical shaft of cornered glass merges with the stone and steel to outlook the stream.The exterior of Fallingwater enforces a strong horizontal pattern with the bricks and long terraces. The windows merges with the stone facade and steel to have a special condition where they open up at the corners, breaking the box of the house and opening it to the vast outdoors. With reference to the surrounding natural form, Wright chose the locally sourced sandstone to make the body of the house and limited his colour palette for the exterior to assure that the house would blend with its surroundings. The concrete is coloured light ochre, while the steel frames of the ribbon windows are painted in red to match the colours of the trees. In doing this, Wright presented an example of “organic architecture”, his philosophy that promotes the harmony between design and nature. 

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