Welcome back to another Throwback Thursday! Last week we talked about Art Deco, a style of harsh edges, industrial appeal and outlandish decor. In contrast to the glamorous and ornate style of Art Deco, the Organic Modern style is sleek, asymmetrical and simplistic. A unified design esthetic that’s ultimate goal is to bring unity between man and his nature surroundings. Organic Modern is a world wide sensation, mostly popular between the 1930’s and 1970’s. Organic Modern architects and designers look for new innovations and motivated by technology, not necessarily craft. This style is more creative, expressive, experimental and original.
The perfect example of Organic Modern is Frank Lloyd Wrights’ Fallingwater. Built for Edgar J. Kaufman in the 1930’s, in Bear Run, Pennsylvania, the house’s original purpose was a small vacation home for the Kaufman family. The reason Frank Lloyd Wrights’ Fallingwater is quintessentially organic because the home is integrated in nature. Wrights design is literally engrained in the natural surroundings, for instance, parts of the boulder that the house rests on is providing a solid foundation as well as flooring in parts of the home, and instead of cutting down trees or ruining the surroundings, Wright moved around the natural elements to incorporate nature into the design even more. Wright uses natural stone, russet painted steel, ochre concrete to soften the look of the house and to stray away from making the home look industrial. Fallingwater is a world renowned home also because of Wrights’ concepts, the cantilevered construction and enclosure and expansion. The home itself is solely supported on one plane, and expands horizontally from the foundation, there is no other form of support for the house creating the cantilevered effect. The balconies of Fallingwater are completely free standing. Inside the home, the halls are narrow, and rooms have duo level ceilings, pushing you out toward the free standing balconies and outside to nature. This is known as enclosure and expansion, Wright wanted to make you feel enclosed in the home, pushing you outside to the cantilevered terraces.
Interiors for Organic Modern were mostly done by the architects, all of Fallingwaters’ interiors and furnishings were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. There is a special relationship between the interior and the exterior in Organic architecture. In Fallingwater, Wright wanted whoever to be inside not know the difference between the exterior and the interior. Furnishings were modest, simplistic designs. The only color of the interiors came from, woven textiles either used as decorative pillows or wall decor, or paintings, pottery and other decorations. Earth tones were in abundance as well as few muted reds, oranges, and other warm tones. In Fallingwater windows were found in every room, but draperies were only found in one room. Wright did not like to use window treatments because it would block the outside view, many organic modern homes do not use window treatments for the very same reason, it would break the relationship between man and his surroundings.
I recently visited Fallingwater for myself and was absolutely blown away by the home. I could talk about it for hours, but to truly get the effect and to truly understand the genius of Frank Lloyd Wrights design, see the house for yourself!
I hope you all have enjoyed todays throwback!