- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Nov. 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0486274306
- ISBN-13: 978-0486274300
- Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 0.7 x 27.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater: The House and Its History (Dover Architecture) Paperback – 1 Nov 1993
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Traces the complicated development of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, including planning, site selection, and construction.
From the Back Cover
Organic form was Frank Lloyd Wright's credo, and its most splendid embodiment is Fallingwater, designed and built for the Pittsburgh merchant Edgar Kaufmann in the 1930s. The private dwelling, which juts directly over a waterfall at Bear Run in western Pennsylvania, is the boldest and most personal architectural statement of Wright's mature years.
This volume is a total revision--both in text and illustrations--of the standard document of Fallingwater. With the opening of the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives, valuable new material has come to light that has provided the basis for this completely rewritten and expanded account. The new material has enabled the author, Wright expert Donald Hoffmann, to tell a more comprehensive, vivid, and authentic story. This book is the complete record of the birth, growth, and maturity of an architectural masterpiece. It documents in special detail Fallingwater's architectural innovations: its cantilevered construction, its ingenious integration with a majestic waterfall, the cascading staircases, organic use of ornament, and the problematic but ultimately triumphant use of reinforced concrete.
Preliminary drawings, sketches, and plans show the early phases of the project. Over 100 photographs depict in both panoramic and intimate detail Fallingwater's site, every phase of its construction, and its distinctive interior and exterior detailing. The superb text tells the story in full, from the earliest notions of the project, through heated confrontations over issues of aesthetics and structure, to its completion. In every aspect, this carefully researched book offers readers an extremely rare insider's view of how a landmark of American architecture came into being. "Fascinating."--The New York Times.
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Fallingwater came as a commission after one of the longest dry spells of Frank Lloyd Wright's career. Despite having no work to do, no money, and few prospects, Mr. Wright dawdled with the project while trying to sell his client, Edgar Kaufmann, as many other projects as possible. Contemporary accounts suggest that Wright only began sketching something on paper when Mr. Kaufmann was about to arrive at Taliesin in Wisconsin, where Wright did his work.
Mr. Kaufman was not an easy client. He was the head of a major department store, and was used to getting his own way. Client and architect often clashed, with bent feelings on both sides. Independent "experts" got involved who also added to the controversy, mistakes, and misunderstandings. Mr. Kaufmann deserves credit, though, for sticking with Wright as the costs soared way above the original budget for this most unique house.
Interestingly, the two were brought together by Mr. Kaufmann's son who had come to study with Wright in Taliesin. The book contains a brief introduction by Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. who ultimately gave the home to a local nature conservancy.
Even without the challenges of the human relationships, Fallingwater was a most ambitious commission. In a remote part of the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania, Fallingwater is sited on top of a waterfall. The potential for the water to undermine the house is enormous. Mr. Wright also wanted to keep as many of the original rocks and trees as possible. The site survey was often wrong, and the designs had to be adjusted to reflect the reality. The design also provided other unusual problems, and the first cantilever was built incorrectly due to changes made under Mr. Kaufmann's direction.
The book contains a wealth of maps, letters, summaries of interviews with those who worked on the project, drawings, plans, and photographs of the work in progress in black and white. This detail brings the challenges to life in a very real way.
The fascinating part of this book to me is that Fallingwater's final effects are the opposite of its creation. The home seems to float above the water, like a mirage. It seems to exude tranquility and peace. Yet, its every stage of movement toward becoming a reality was like a Sumo wrestling match with enormous heavyweight egos and ideas colliding at high speed and with little regard for the impact on the other fellow.
As much as I love Fallingwater, I love understanding more about how it was created even more. Anyone who wants to leave a mark of greatness behind should read this book.
After you finish thinking through the implications of Mr. Wright's vision and ways of implementing it, I suggest that you think about your own personal life and work. Where are you lacking in vision? Where are you lacking in the processes to implement worthwhile visions?
Turn your dreams into beautiful realities . . . for everyone!
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