Organic Architecture Photo Essay: Fallingwater, Antoni Gaudí, and Vertical Gardens.

Fallingwater, Bear Run, Pennsylvania, Frank Lloyd Wright (American architect 1867-1959).
Designed 1935, built 1936-39 near the end of Wright's career, but still even before he conceived of the Guggenheim in 1943! 

This adventure was a thrilling stopover during a recent road trip which included visits to Pittsburgh. I've been wanting to get here for years and even though I lived in Philadelphia for so long I never made it until I moved north.

Here are some helpful terms and related concepts.
Organic Architecture: through forms and engineering, this style seeks to integrate landscape and structure to create harmony between dwelling and nature.
Arts and Crafts Style: artistic movement inspired by William Morris in England during 1860-1910, this style continued to influence artists internationally through the 1930's. Essentially this movement sought to eliminate industrial, machine made products in favor of those handcrafted, which would satisfy both the creator and the consumer.
Prairie Stylelow-pitched roof, overhanging eaves, horizontal lines, central chimney, open floor plan, clerestory windows
Cantilever: a beam or structure that is anchored at one end and projects horizontally beyond its vertical support, such as a wall or column. It can carry loads throughout the rest of the unsupported length. 

At Fallingwater Frank Lloyd Wright cantilevered a series of broad terraces (made from poured cement) out from the cliffside, echoing the great slabs of rock below. By using natural materials: the pre-existing land, wood and stone, and glass to let in natural sunlight, blending the division between interior and exterior, the opposition to mechanical industrial production is evident. 

The above black and white images were taken on C-41 film, which can be developed using color film chemicals. I like the tones this kind of film produces, not too much contrast or depth.
I also took some fun shots with my Holga camera.

I especially liked the open floor plan hearth room with a cozy fireplace on one side and the rushing water coming up to the hatch on the other.

Hatch with glass top allows the sounds and breeze from the river to enter the room.
Very Renaissance palazzo-esque.
Sweet mid-century library.

Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, 1852-1926, didn't necessarily integrate landscape with dwelling in the same way that FLW did. He was more interested in using organic forms in his structures. I got a chance to see many of his works of art last year in Barcelona (all photos are mine).

Casa Batlló, 1877. 

Sagrada Familia, started 1883, ongoing.

Nave ceiling.

Park Güell, 1898.

La Perdrera, 1906-10.

Vertical Gardens: These are living gardens assembled on the sides of buildings usually found in dense urban settings where green spaces are less abundant.

Vertical Garden, Caixa Forum, Madrid, 2009, Ecological Engineer Patrick Blanc (French, b. 1953).
I was lucky enough to catch this on my first trip to Spain and it was certainly memorable. The ultimate connecting of nature and architecture. 

1 comment:

  1. Back to the architecture! Lots of memories in these photos. The medium format shots of fallingwater are just too cool.