LEGO & Fallingwater

December 29, 2010

How cool is this?!?  LEGO® Architecture has reproduced proudly what is perhaps the most famous residential home in the world in lego form. Frank Lloyd Wright´s masterpiece merges man with nature by implementing materials as well as extending lines from the surrounding land. Open to the public since 1963, Fallingwater attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world every year… and now you can build your very own Fallingwater in your living room.

I think this is a great way to introduce kids to architecture and design at an early age but of course this would thrill any acrchitecture/design enthuisast… but I know I loved LEGO for many many years, still do really.

Taken from LEGO website:

In 1935, across Bear Run, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, USA, a home was planned with a goal in mind to merge man with nature…they would succeed in a way that surprised both the makers and the public. To this date “Fallingwater” is seen by many as architect Frank Lloyd Wright´s masterpiece, a marvel in terms of architecture and a world famous landmark.

From business to pleasure…
Edgar Kaufmann Sr., a successful businessman & nature loving family man owned a piece of land by the Bear Run, the property included a waterfall plus a set of cabins that had become a summer camp for his employees down in Pittsburgh. During the Great Depression the employees no longer could afford making the escape. The well used cabins were begging to be replaced and Edgar started thinking about setting up a private Kaufmanns family estate, he wanted something special.

Wright who had had only a couple of small architectural jobs in the last decade, had started teaching and even created his very own school, the Tallesin Fellowship. Kaufmann´s son, Edgar Jr., had been fascinated by Wright´s ideas for years and was studying at Tallesin, the connection was made and soon Kaufmann signed Wright on to design his new home.

Mutual interests, differing perspectives
With the knowledge of his client´s love for nature and their close ties to the mountain stream, Wright had his clients trust to dig deep into himself. He implemented his own lifelong passion for nature by designing an organic home that would melt with it´s surroundings.

As Wright presented his brilliance & vision he surprised the Kaufmanns. They imagined a modern home overlooking their much beloved waterfall, but Wright´s drawings had almost totally eliminated its visibility by placing the building above and not beside it. Wright convinced them, explained that hearing the water instead of looking at it once in a while would properly connect them, man with nature, he wanted them to live With the waterfall, making it a thoroughly integrated part of their life.

A natural embrace
Constructed using local craftsmen building with local sandstone, the daring ground breaking project would catch instant fame after being featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1938, making it the world’s most famous Private Residence.

In his design, Wright made use of similar shapes as those found in its surroundings. It consists of climbing levels shaped by large sandstone ledges. Built upon a waterfall, Fallingwater is an architectural gem that seems to hover above ground, stretching itself across the diving stream.

Fallingwater is the only piece of Wright that to this date has kept its setting, art-work & original furnishings intact…furniture specially designed by Wright himself.

Words from the LEGO Architect:
“This model underwent a total of 14 design concepts as it delicately incorporates a unique “pull-apart” interactive feature. Unlike the first 5 models in the LEGO Architecture series which are static by design, I wanted to explore the use of the LEGO Brick even further by expressing the dynamic nature of Fallingwater; with this in mind I was able to have sections of the model slide out.

The design challenge was in figuring out how to cleverly disguise, in an almost puzzle-like design where the model comes apart without distorting one of Mr. Wright’s most recognizable achievements. Another design concern was how to carefully balance the playful nature of the river, waterfall, woods, and bridge that embrace and define Fallingwater. These subtle details give Fallingwater context, without which it would not be possible to truly illustrate its beautiful, sensitive and thoughtful design.”

– Adam Reed Tucker

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