|View 4 from the lookout above the stream (Bear Run), from southwest. Frank Lloyd Wright planned the house with this view in mind.|
|The stream flows roughly parallel to (and partially under) the house, but breaks at an angle at the falls. The sound of the flowing water fills the house continually. The cantilevered levels symbolically resonate with the rock ledges below. The supports visible under the terrace are a temporary measure while repairs are made.|
Original photo, taken by the webmaster.|
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To understand Fallingwater one needs to explore its unusual structure, and Wright's reasons for designing it. The house may appear to consist of massive stone piers anchoring reinforced concrete projections, but this is misleadingly simple. Wright established a core, a sturdy stone-walled enclosure containing a kitchen and one bedroom above another, while also carrying flues, pipes, and wiring up to the various floors. Other stone walls, however, are divided into discontinuous segments - the concrete slabs continue intact right through the stonework. As the slabs extend outward, the pull on one side, in many places, counteracts the pull on the other. In addition, the main house is massed high at the back, and the accumulated weight counters the great projection over the stream. Thus Fallingwater utilizes and combines three kinds of cantilevering: extension from an anchorage (as in the iron arm suspending a kettle over the living room firegrate); counterbalancing (like simple scales); and loaded extension that permits limited anchorage (the way that a man squatting, with only the balls of his feet and toes touching the earth, extends his knees).
- Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., Fallingwater: A Frank Lloyd Wright Country House, p. 90.