• Bricks & Words #3: ‘Fallingwater’

    What was it like to watch the most famous house in the world be built by the most famous practising architect in the world? So famous, in fact, that both house and designer were on the cover of Time magazine? Find out by the one man who, by the 1980s, was one of the few left alive who could tell you – the son of the man who commissioned it.

    In 1936 Pennsylvania businessman Edgar J. Kauffmann engaged the magnificent, mercurial Frank Lloyd Wright to build Fallingwater on his favourite spot along Bear Run, a river running through woodlands. As attuned to nature as most of Wright’s domestic projects, Fallingwater’s horizontal planes, cantilevered terraces, open spaces and autumnal colours made it part of the landscape even without the set of stairs descending from the living room to the water. Inside, nooks and crannies meld effortlessly with large open spaces, all finished in stone quarried onsite and metal painted red. Get the inside track on the construction, the problems and the pleasures of living in it afterward in this little-known but insightful volume by the man who later donated the house to the public good.

    ‘Fallingwater: A Frank Lloyd Wright Country House by Edgar Kauffmann, jr (Abbeville Press, 1986; new edition 1993)

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Chris Rogers writer on architecture and visual culture

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