Today our team had quite a riveting conversation about what we consider ‘iconic buildings’ to be, why, and why write about them? All of which we thought to share with you but, we would like you all to chime in, leave comments, comment on other comments and let the discussion thrive. One of my favorite iconic buildings is Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Fallingwater’, designed in 1936 and built between 1936 and 1939.
“Fallingwater ‘ is a iconic building that should be synonymous with the word “ground-breaking”. The design was new, innovative and daring. It redefined the way architects looked at integrating design with nature. In an article What is Fallingwater? one of the questions was Why is it so famous? and to quote “It’s a house that doesn’t even appear to stand on solid ground, but instead stretches out over a 30’ waterfall. It captured everyone’s imagination when it was on the cover of Time magazine in 1938”.
So, why write about it? According to journalist, author, and activist Jane Jacobs- “Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.” Remembering these buildings should inspire us to be more creative. After all, aren’t you feeling more inspired? Additionally, it is a way of preserving the history, reminding others and sharing these impressive designs with others. It is important to never let your art form disappear but transcend throughout time.
‘Fallingwater’ was designed for the Kaufmann family who was interested in modern art and nature, especially the waterfall at Bear Run so he decided to make it part of the house design. Frank Lloyd Wright told them that he wanted them to live with the waterfalls, to make them part of their everyday life, and not just to look at them now and then. Of course, no innovative design could elude its trials. To ensure durability, safety and keep the design he imagined Wright worked with engineers Mendel Glickman and William Wesley Peters. The engineers solution to all of his problems, ‘materials’. “The house took on “a definite masonry form” that related to the site, and for the terraces they decided on a reinforced-concrete structure. It was Wright’s first time working with concrete for residences and though at first he did not have much interest in the material, it had the flexibility to be cast into any shape, and when reinforced with steel it gained an extraordinary tensile strength.”
To conclude, in the words of the French poet, novelist, and dramatist Victor Hugo- “[W]hatever may be the future of architecture, in whatever manner our young architects may one day solve the question of their art, let us, while waiting for new monuments, preserve the ancient monuments. Let us…inspire the nation with a love for national architecture.”
Fallingwater – house over waterfall, Frank Lloyd Wright. (n.d.). Retrieved May 5, 2014, from http://www.wright-house.com/frank-lloyd-wright/fallingwater.html
Fallingwater | What is Fallingwater? (2014). Retrieved May 5, 2014, from http://www.fallingwater.org/37/what-is-fallingwater
Perez, A. (2010, May 14). AD Classics: Fallingwater House / Frank Lloyd Wright | ArchDaily. Retrieved May 5, 2014, from http://www.archdaily.com/60022/ad-classics-fallingwater-frank-lloyd-wright/