Fallingwater: a contradiction in sustainable design

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Classic view
credit: Kelly Rossiter

It is hard, writing about Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater on a website devoted to sustainable design and living. It is possibly one of the most unsustainable buildings ever constructed, needing constant upkeep in the fight against moisture. It is a constant challenge and expense for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy who take care of it today. Yet it is also almost a definition of green design; Edgar Kaufmann Jr. who lived there, wrote:

Fallingwater is famous because the house in its setting embodies a powerful ideal -that people today can learn to live in harmony with nature. . .As technology uses more and more natural resources, as the world’s population grows even larger, harmony with nature is necessary for the very existence of mankind.

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