#LaPresse: “Fallingwater, flesh and blood | Sophie Ouimet “
The House on the Waterfall was built between 1936 and 1939 for a wealthy family of Pittsburgh, the Kaufmanns. These, owners of a department store in town and lovers of art, wanted a second home to spend their summer holidays. They appealed to Frank Lloyd Wright through their son, who had been a pupil of this visionary architect.
At the end of the first sketches, the Kaufmanns had a shock. While they had asked for a beautiful view of the river, Wright preferred that their guests live to the rhythm of the waterfall. Thus, in examining the plans, they discovered that their future residence was erected not in front of the fall, but … in!
The whole structure of the house is arranged around this waterfall, with the cantilevered terraces that project above the waves and the corner windows that allow to hear its incessant noise. You even have to cross a bridge to reach the house, on the other side of the stream. The whole residence was built in a very limited color palette – ocher for the concrete, red for the steel -, as to leave all the place to the surrounding nature.
After multiple cost overruns, the house ultimately cost $ 155,000, a tidy sum for the time. In return, it has reached a rare reputation for a residence. She made the cover page of Time Magazine in January 1938, in addition to serving as inspiration to the filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock in his film Death to the Kidney
In 1963, the son of the couple, Edgar Kaufmann Jr., handed the house to the care of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which turned it into a museum.
The House on the waterfall was built between 1936 and 1939 for a wealthy family of Pittsburgh, the Kaufmann.
Photo Robert P. Ruschak, provided by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
We do not get up early one morning by deciding to go and see the House on the waterfall. It is necessary to plan his stay minimally, since the visits fill quickly.
In the mythical home, absolutely everything was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright himself, including furniture. His signature is recognized in the main rooms of the house, including the huge ground floor where you can enjoy the aperitifs feet in the water. On the upper floors are the rooms, which each have their own terrace and a private bathroom, a rare feature at the time.
As for the most beautiful view, the one seen in all the photos, we keep it for the end. As we return to the visitor center, we can see the house at its best angle. Thus, it is this idyllic vision that is borne in our memories – and in our cameras.