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Casestudy of falling water

case study about design of falling water by frank lloyd wright

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Casestudy of falling water

  2. 2. FALLING WATER BY FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT: A set of scaled drawings of the house were completed several years ago by L. D. Astorino, an architectural firm located in Pittsburgh.
  3. 3. • William Allin Storrer describes Falling water as "the best- known private home for someone not of royal blood in the history of the world." Perched over a waterfall on Bear Run in the western Pennsylvania highlands, the rural retreat constructed for Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr., has also been called the fullest realization of Wright's lifelong ideal of a living place completely at one with nature. Reinforced- concrete cantilever slabs project from the rocks to carry the house over the stream. From the living room, a suspended stairway leads directly down to the stream. On the third level immediately above, terraces open from sleeping quarters, emphasizing the horizontal nature of the structural forms. Wright himself described Fallingwater as "a great blessing --one of the great blessings to be experienced here on earth.“
  5. 5. Most of the house's floor space is devoted to the stone-paved living area with its various activity spaces. A high proportion of the living space is outdoors in the form of terraces, loggia and plunge pool below the living room..
  6. 6. • Fallingwater is constructed on three levels primarily of reinforced concrete, native sandstone and glass. Soaring cantilevered balconies are anchored in solid rock. Walls of glass form the south exposure, and a vertical shaft of mitered glass merges with stone and steel to overlook the stream.
  12. 12. ELEVATION:1
  13. 13. ELEVATION:II
  15. 15. HISTORY: • Almost forgotten at age 70, Frank Lloyd Wright was given the opportunity to re-emerge on the architectural scene with his design and construction of three buildings. His three great works of the late 1930s--Fallingwater, the Johnson Wax Building in Racine, Wisconsin, and the Herbert Jacobs house in Madison, Wisconsin-- brought him back to the front of the architectural pack. • wanted the house located on the southern bank of Bear Run, directly facing the falls. He had told Wright that was his favorite aspect of the Bear Run property. • Once Wright had decided the location of the house, he had the obvious problem of building it there. The location of the north bank of Bear Run was not large enough to provide a foundation for a typically built Wright house.
  16. 16. DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION: Beyond this issue, there were also the clients' needs that had to be met. The Kaufmanns planned to entertain large groups of people, so the house would need to be larger than the plot allowed. Preliminary plans were issued to Kaufmann for approval on October 15, 1935,[15] after which Wright made a further visit to the site and provided a cost estimate for the job. The final working drawings were issued by Wright in March 1936 with work beginning on the bridge and main house in April 1936.
  17. 17. COST: • The home and guest house cost US$155,000,[19][20] broken down as follows: house $75,000; finishing and furnishing $22,000; guest house, garage and servants' quarters $50,000; architect's fee $8,000. • The total project price of $155,000, adjusted for inflation, is the equivalent of approximately $2.4 million in 2009.[21] A reflection of the relative cost of the project in its time is that the cost of restoration alone in 2002 was reported at $11.4 million.
  18. 18. USEOF HOUSE: • Fallingwater was the family's weekend home from 1937 to 1963. In 1963, Kaufmann, Jr. donated the property to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. In 1964, it was opened to the public as a museum. Nearly six million people have visited the house as of January 2008. Despite its location in a remote corner of Pennsylvania (two hours' drive from Pittsburgh), the house (according to the informational pamphlet distributed on the grounds) currently hosts more than 150,000 visitors each year.[20] • Kaufmann, Jr. years later said, "He [Wright] understood that people were creatures of nature, hence and architecture which conformed to nature would conform to what was basic in people. For example, although all of Falling Water [sic] is opened by broad bands of windows, people inside are sheltered as in a deep cave, secure in the sense of the hill behind them."
  19. 19. STYLE: This organically designed private residence was intended to be a nature retreat for its owners. The house is well known for its connection to the site; it is built on top of an active waterfall which flows beneath the house. The fireplace hearth in the living room integrates boulders found on the site and upon which the house was built — ledge rock which protrudes up to a foot through the living room floor was left in place to demonstrably link the outside with the inside.
  20. 20. • Bear Run and the sound of its water permeate the house, especially during the spring when the snow is melting, and locally quarried stone walls and cantilevered terraces resembling the nearby rock formations are meant to be in harmony. The design incorporates broad expanses of windows and balconies which reach out into their surroundings. The staircase leading down from the living room to the stream (mentioned above) is accessed via movable horizontal glass panes. In conformance with Wright's views, the main entry door is away from the falls.
  21. 21. • On the hillside above the main house stands a four-bay carport, servants' quarters, and a guest house. These attached outbuildings were built two years later using the same quality of materials and attention to detail as the main house. The guest quarters feature a spring-fed swimming pool which overflows and drains to the river below. After Fallingwater was deeded to the public, three carport bays were enclosed at the direction of Kaufmann, Jr., to be used by museum visitors to view a presentation at the end of their guided tours on the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (to which the home was entrusted). Kaufmann, Jr. designed its interior himself, to specifications found in other Fallingwater interiors by Wright.
  22. 22. REPAIR WORK: • The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy conducted an intensive program to preserve and restore Fallingwater. From 1988, a New York City-based architecture and engineering firm was responsible for the materials conservation of Fallingwater. During this time the firm reviewed original construction documents and subsequent repair reports; evaluated conditions and probes; analyzed select materials; designed the re-roofing and re- waterproofing of roofs and terraces; specified the restoration for original steel casement windows and doors; reconstructed failed concrete reconstructions; restored the masonry; analyzed interior paint finishes; specified interior paint removal methods and re-painting; designed repair methods for concrete and stucco; and developed a new coating system for the concrete.
  23. 23. Given the humid environment directly over running water, mold had proven a problem. The elder Kaufmann called Fallingwater "a seven-bucket building" for its leaks, and nicknamed it "Rising Mildew". Condensation under roofing membranes was also an issue, due to the lack of damp proofing or thermal breaks. Falling water's structural system includes a series of very bold reinforced concrete cantilevered balconies; however, the house had problems from the beginning. Pronounced deflection of the concrete cantilevers was noticed as soon as formwork was removed at the construction stage.

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case study about design of falling water by frank lloyd wright


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