Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was a famous influential architect who designed many unique buildings all over the world. Each building was created differently because he believed that “there should be as many kinds of houses as there are kinds of people and as many differentiations as there are different individuals”. He also believed that each building he created should be integrated with it’s surroundings and in harmony with nature. The Milwaukee Art Museum has showcased his work there and gave it the title “Organic Architecture for the 20th Century. ” This exhibition presents and reveal Wright’s vision for better living.
While at the museum, I came across-ed a drawing of a house named “Falling water. ” The design of this house was very appealing and amazingly produced. “Falling Water,” is the name of a house that Wright had built over a waterfall. This house was built for the Kaufmann family (owner of Kaufmann’s Department Store), as their vacation house. E. J. Kaufmann commissioned Wright to build him a house near a waterfall, but instead Wright built the house right on top of the waterfall. He told the Kaufmanns that he wanted them to live with the waterfalls, to make them apart of their everyday life, and not just to look at them.
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This two-dimensional drawing of “Falling Water,” has many interesting elements to it. Wright positioned the house right above the horizon line, which gives the viewer a feel of invitation. It was as if the house was right in front of us. Perspective is also used well here. All the lines of the house leads to a vanishing point. The structure of the house is created with many rectangular shapes and horizontal lines. With this it gives the overall building a horizontal feel which emphasize a connection to the earth. The plants, trees, rocks that surrounds this building and the waterfall, definitely gave a organic feel to this house.
The color used in this drawing is well chosen and used appropriately. Wright wanted this house to be in harmony with nature so the earthly-tone colors fits perfectly. Just by analyzing a drawing, a lot of information can be obtained, but to get a better understanding of the structure of the building, additional research was necessary. In my research, I obtained information about the construction of this extraordinary house. The design consisted of concrete cantilevered slabs, attached to the cliff that forms a platform clinging over the water.
In between the horizontal slabs were stone walls that parallels the cliff side below the waterfall. There is a staircase that leads directly to the waterfall. The supported ground floor is at the foot of the staircase and the slope of the hill. The building base is made of natural stone, the stories are made of reinforced concrete, and the walls are made of glass. The stone work of the building was built in layers with some stones raised to create a rough surface. There are three levels and each has its own terrace and an outside stairway leading to other terraces and balconies.
The two levels of living areas both extend up to the waterfall and give a good view of the surroundings. The entrance drive leads to the living room and the kitchen, the dining room, the terraces, and balconies all extend in different directions. The terrace of the second floor is more cantilevered than the terrace of the first floor, but the second floor is much smaller. It also only has one bedroom with an adjoining roof terrace. Falling water also consistent of many opened windows. Overall the interior and exterior seemed to be constructed in a unique way that express who Wright is and his style of art.
Within my research I also found that Wright designed each of his buildings differently but he always applied the same methods. Such as, each building had to echo the surrounding landscape, rather than having the environment adopted to the buildings. The colors of the buildings has to fit with natural forms such as colors of the woods and other earthly tone colors. The interior was illuminated by natural light rather than artificial lights. Because of this, there are many windows that allows exposure to the outdoors. The rooms inside are open and has very few walls.
Also the buildings were mostly built with natural and local resources. After examining Wright’s drawing and researching about his style, I learned a lot bout design through his perspective. I learned that with an idea, anything is possible. When Wright first saw the waterfall of the falling water house, he immediately keeps that image with him. This is an inspiring aspect to me. The one thing I learned the most is that combining nature with architecture is an wonderful idea. This way we as humans can interact with nature, or as Wright like to call it ” harmony with nature. “