Woods and modern architecture rarely go well together. When they do, the result is a powerful synthesis of nature and built structure. Fallingwater house might be one of the best expression of such organic integration of modern materials and the environment. The building is hidden in the Appalachian woods of Southwestern Pennsylvania, along a creek named Bear Run.
Fall leaves travel down the stream while earthy pebbles collide. Green bushes still surround the creek, next to black rocky ledges that reveal multiple horizontal layers.
Following the course of the stream one finds Fallingwater. Surrounded by the woods and rooted in the water. This is perhaps one of the best examples of how organic architecture in practice. A building being one with nature, synthesizing a harmonious landscape. Completed in 1937, the Fallingwater house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and commissioned by E. J. Kaufmann, the house was made for inspiring creativity and ideas and experiencing nature as habitat.
The design of the building privileges horizontal lines. Instead of walls facing the creek, there are only glass windows, that allow light to enter the interior of the house. The ample floors are sustained on central columns that seem to be suspended over the Bear Run stream. On the first floor there is even a mirror of water that can be accessed through the stairs. Water seemed to be the core of the building.
Horizontal lines drive the eyes towards the landscape. It moves us towards the horizon. On the open roofs, they allow light to warm the interiors.
On the the terraces, horizontal lines create ample and long balconies. They project the buildign towards the sides, in parallel to some of the rock ledges that surround the creek.
Part of the house structure is mounted on rocks. One of the rooms seems to be hug by a rock. The central structure and core of the house, as well as other walls, are made up of pieces of rock collected on location. These rocks are similar to the ones that appear near the creek. As if the rock ledgers had been appropriated for building some of the walls and columns of the house. They echo the natural outcroppings of the terrain and the horizontal patterns present on the hill rocks.
Down in the hill. Water falls. The Bear Run stream icy waters continue their course. The house from lower perspective looks as the place where water is emanating. Cascades of water reveal as continuation of the terraces. Together they create a beautiful landscape in which the building unifies with the environment, becoming part of it.
Moving through the house, exiting it, continue walking down the hill, along the creek, moves our senses. It is an experience that invites us to contemplate and meditate on nature. It is also a sort of happiness and joy.