|Window set directly in stone: no intervening vertical support beam.|
|Many features of Fallingwater are designed to maintain a continuity between inside and outside. Rather than setting a steel beam running up and down along the wall and setting the glass into it, the glass set directly into the stone wall eliminates the visual barrier along the wall between inside and outside. On the opposite end of the west tower windows a vertical support beam that might commonly be found in most houses is also missing. See also this example from a window in the guest house. Large arrays of windows create a direct visual experience of the closeness of nature. Some of the these even extend to horizontal glass, as over the hatchway in the living room. Floor to ceiling glass flanks both sides of the front portion of the living room, so that from the bridge one can see straight through the house. (See also this view from a wider angle.) This openness at the front is balanced by a secure, cave-like enclosure at the back. Cantilevered and even double-cantilevered terraces reach out into nature (other features reaching upward and downward), and not only sunlight but the sound of the falls reaches in throughout the house.|
Original photo, used by permission. Copyright © cambridge2000.com.|
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Wright used only a few elements throughout the house, so that a sense of familiarity soon reassures whoever visits or inhabits it. However, Wright was never content with consistency; he structured the whole western tower block using mutations of his themes. Supported on three sides by stone walls, the floor slabs of this portion of the house do not have parapets. On the contrary they are beveled to meet, but not pierce, the glazing membrane that here - and only here at Fallingwater - becomes a vertical curtain three stories high. This sheer expanse of glass and steel is not treated as a flat facade, but is stepped forward in accord with the angled character of the house. Extending westward from this block is a cantilevered terrace not level with the floor slabs to the east, making clear that the tower interrupts the continuity of the reinforced slab system. The special treatment of the west end of the house is balanced to the east by another mutation: the concrete slabs repeatedly slotted to form the trellis areas over the driveway and the living room.
- Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., Fallingwater: A Frank Lloyd Wright Country House, p. 110.