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Frank Lloyd Wright Falling Water - Mill Run, PA

A sketch of a house perched on a cliff

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This house, one of the most famous of domestic dwellings, is one of Wright's greatest achievements and a beauitful, breathtaking, and inspiring creation. Edgar J. Kaufmann was a very rich man, whose son was an apprentice at Taliesin. It was therefore natural for him to ask Wright to create a house on some land the family owned in the Pennsylvania forests. Wright apparently asked where on the estate kaufmann liked to sit, and when he was shown the rock above the Bear Run's shooting waterfall be declared that very stine should be the hearthstone of the house. Wright integrated much of his earlier design invention in this house, himself citing the Gale house for the projecting balconies from slab-like walls as a precedent, but it is of itself utterly new and different. The core of the house, the living spaces, are quite simple and not enormous: good-sized living room and compact kitchen on the main floor, and three neat bedrooms above. It is the cantilevered terraces, shooting out with barely contained energy at a series of right angles, that make house look like sculpture as well as architecture and that give it its extraordinary character. Although today the building has a few structural problems, these double cantilevered extensions are sound, a tribute to the engineering skills of Wright and his associates, Mendel Glickman and William Wesley Peters.

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