Frank LLoyd Wright, Kaufmann House, Bear Run, USA, 1933

Frank LLoyd Wright, Kaufmann House, Bear Run, USA, 1933

Frank LLoyd Wright, Kaufmann House, Bear Run, USA, 1933 (View in Google Maps)

Fallingwater or Kaufmann Residence is a house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. The home was built partly over a waterfall on Bear Run in the Mill Run section of Stewart Township, in the Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains.

Wright’s solution to the problem of space came when he decided on a cantilevered structure. The strong horizontal and vertical lines are a distinctive feature of Fallingwater.  For the cantilevered floors, Wright and his team used upside down T-shaped beams integrated into a monolithic concrete slab which both formed the ceiling of the space below and provided resistance against compression.

Wright’s passion for Japanese architecture was strongly reflected in the design of Fallingwater, particularly in the importance of interpenetrating exterior and interior spaces and the strong emphasis placed on harmony between man and nature.  This organically designed private residence was intended to be a nature retreat for its owners.

The fireplace hearth in the living room integrates boulders found on the site and upon which the house was built — ledge rock which protrudes up to a foot through the living room floor was left in place to demonstrably link the outside with the inside. The stone floors are waxed, while the hearth is left plain, giving the impression of dry rocks protruding from a stream. Integration with the setting extends even to small details.  From the cantilevered living room, a stairway leads directly down to the stream below, and in a connecting space which connects the main house with the guest and servant level, a natural spring drips water inside, which is then channeled back out. Bedrooms are small, some with low ceilings to encourage people outward toward the open social areas, decks, and outdoors.


Donald W. Hoppen, The Seven Ages of Frank Lloyd Wright: The Creative Process, Dover Publications: New York, 1993, page 23

Edgard Tafel, Years with Frank Lloyd Wright: Apprentice to Genius, Courier Dover Publications, 1979

Franklin Toker, Fallingwater Rising: Frank Lloyd Wright, E. J. Kaufmann, and America’s Most Extraordinary House, Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 2003, np


Reviewed by :

Rémi Farwati, Elena Giannitsopoulos, Nadir Bouchene, Adela Plasilova, March 2017