The Center for the Advancement of American Architecture at Fallingwater

Building Architecture- Small Scale (<10,000 sf)

Project Narrative

The Fallingwater Center for the Advancement of American Architecture is located on the Pony Field, neighboring the Barn at Fallingwater, at Mill Run, Pennsylvania. The facility will act as a visitor center set in the core of the Lands of Fallingwater, that would complement and dovetail its sibling experiences with the Fallingwater Institute. With an audience of the general public, from scholars/practitioners to laypersons, the center attempts to promote the public understanding and appreciation of American architecture through educational programs. From the sense of understanding the ‘DNA’ of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, we were able to move away from copying the historical monument, but instead, use its language (the integration of nature that informs its unique tectonic identity) enabling us to express the sensual content of place that became so integral toward our discovery of developing the prospect of the modern vernacular. We view the landscape as a connection piece unifying paths connected with the site. Using the established line between the barn and the new center, the intersection created a grid-like pattern that gave the feeling of a farmland topography (using native plants of the mid-western vernacular) that offers a relationship between trail and road, barn and visitor center, and trail and Fallingwater. With the path of these routes, the site allows for a continuation of the journey from site event to site event as well as being a place in itself to explore and experience. Lastly, in order to maintain the DNA of Frank Lloyd Wright, it became apparent to us that it was that crucial that the design materials of the structure all be specialized, with each element of the construction process to be replicated to our specific needs, allowing for a unique language of continuity throughout the building. These materials are derived from the site and locally sourced from nature, presenting a sustainable tactic to the construction process. Additionally, the furniture incorporated is handcrafted, made from recycled materials and farming equipment from the nearby Bear Run community.


Project Details

Submission Category

Building Architecture- Small Scale (<10,000 sf)

Date of Completion

November, 2022