As friends know, I have something of an obsession with Fallingwater, the rural south-western Pennsylvania house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 for Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr. and his family. For several years I worked on a reproduction here in Second Life. I’m not the first to do so – although while most tend to only focus on the “main” house, I opted to try for the whole thing: house, guest house, servant’s quarters and garages. Unfortunately, it’s the kind of build that requires a region in size to properly lay out, so since 2015, when it last appeared as the setting for an art display, it has tended to sit in its rezzing system in my inventory.
However, I recently suggested to Caitlyn that given the lie of our island home, it might be interesting to build a house that is built against one of the cliffs, rather than on top of it. Problem was: what style of house? The Internet offered plenty of images that might serve as inspiration, but in the end I came back to Fallingwater. There was no way the entire house would fit on our island, but I wondered if the main house could be made to fit – if not as a “cliff house”, then at least as a house built out over the water.
Turns out, it could – with a little modification.
Fallingwater is a big house – far too big for just two of us, and a little bigger than makes for a comfortable fit with the island. To make it more manageable, I removed the upper floor bedrooms, reducing the overall height, and shortened the two wing terraces, dropping the height of one just a little. The back of the house needed a little re-working – a new “front door” on the ground level, the removal of the bridge spanning the driveway in the real house, and slight alterations to allow the house form one side of the island’s pond.
What particularly got me to use Fallingwater – as well as a nagging desire to see the house in some form again – was an idea from Caitlyn. My thinking was to have the house at the south end of the island, overlooking the boating lanes. Caitlyn suggested using the north end of the island instead, and on trying it, I saw that the buttresses supporting the house as it stands out over Bear River actually makes a convenient covered mooring area for our motorboats and ‘plane, with room for our faithful Loonetta to one side.
A little tweaking of the grounds and garden was required to fit everything, but nothing too excessive. I admit to being rather pleased with the way the house revels itself when walking up from the southern end of the island; this wasn’t intentional, the lay of the path and the trees already there just leant themselves to a gradual reveal.
It’s not the “house backing into the cliffs” I’d originally thought about, but it is nice to have my Fallingwater back in-world, even modified as it is.