Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater | Organic Architecture Exemplified

Kaufmann House or Fallingwater| Frank Lloyd Wright

Fallingwater is an unique example of modern Organic Architecture, which was designed by Architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1934 in rural Pennsylvania, 80 kilometers southeast of Pittsburgh.

Kaufmann House 'Fallingwater', Pennsylvania, USA
Kaufmann House ‘Fallingwater’, Pennsylvania, USA

Organic architecture is a philosophy of architecture which promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world through design approaches so well integrated with its site that buildings, furnishings, and surroundings become part of a unified, interrelated composition.

Set in a very unusual location, the ideas implicit in the house are a highly dramatic and original combination of modern technology within a natural setting. The notion of a house sitting over a waterfall evokes the imagination of English Romantic poet, Wordsworth. At the same time, scientific technology has been integrated with a modern concept. The cantilevered house which sits on a waterfall that is audible rather than visible was Frank Lloyd Wright’s unique achievement.

Kaufmann House is an outstanding example of domestic architecture. In the 1930s, Wright developed the main theme of organic architecture, that is, combining modern techniques and natural landscape in a new way. ‘Fallingwater’ is among Wright’s most famous buildings and has become a symbol of the international movement. He used natural and organic elements in this building. This is a good example of organic architecture.

What does this House (Fallingwater) look like?

The house is located on a cliff with a waterfall. It is a weekend house. It consists of two levels of living areas. Both the living areas extend up to the waterfall and give a good view of the surrounding countryside.

Entrance of Falling Water
Entrance of Falling Water

The entrance drive leads to the main living room, which extends in different directions in the ground floor. A staircase leads directly leads to the waterfall. Terraces, balconies, kitchen and dining area all extend in different directions. The bedroom on the second floor opens on to the terrace, which is cantilevered more than the terrace of the first floor. The second floor is much smaller than the first and has only one bedroom with an adjoining roof terrace.

All the three floor plans form a pattern in such a way that they are arranged round the single vertical element, which is the natural stone tower-the staircase.

At the foot of the staircase is the supported ground floor and the slope of the hill. The base of the building is made of natural stone, the individual storeys are made up of reinforced concrete, and the walls of glass. The building literally combines:

  • Nature and architecture
  • The organic and the geometric
  • Natural stone and concrete
  • Exterior and interior
  • Nature and space

What Frank Lloyd Wright achieved in this building was to place its occupants in a close relationship to the surrounding beauty – the trees, the foliage and the wild flowers.

As Howard Roark would have said, “A building has integrity, just as a man and just as seldom! It must be true to its own idea, have its own form, and serve its own purpose!”

1 thought on “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater | Organic Architecture Exemplified”

  1. Human capacity and capability atimes is beyond imagination. The building is quite amazing. If Wright achieved that fit as far back as 1934 one would expect better design beyond Towers by now.Wright desgn gave the hope that human exploits in abode is limitless. I hope the Architects of these days would wake up and give humanity the hope for existence that is environment friendly

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