Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monticello/Fallingwater Trip

We just returned from the Monticello and Fallingwater trip.  Besides spending long hours on the bus and staying in questionable motels, it was one of the best experiences I've ever had.  Both places brought forth totally different view points on design.  At Monticello, I was fascinated by the way in which Jefferson had designed the parts of the house he wanted hidden to be underground while serving as outdoor patios for his main house.  The interior of the house was interesting but I couldn't help but wish they had shown us more.  We continually walked past doors and I would think to myself all the possibilities of what could be behind those doors but I'll never know.  The building itself was beautiful but it was the outside that truly blew me away.  However, while I enjoyed Monticello, if the trip had ended there I would have seen it as a waste of a lot of money.  I'm thankful it didn't because Fallingwater was beyond my wildest expectations.  Upon arrival, I couldn't wait to get off the bus because those curvy PA roads and I didn't get along well at all.  I went down to the visitors center where I was taken into the first group to tour.  As soon as we got down the hill, I was amazed.  It was already so beautiful and by far the most unique house I have ever seen.  We went inside to the great room and the beauty didn't stop.  You had a view surrounding you everywhere.  I loved that there were stairs leading into the waterfall from the living room.  The first thing I could think of is how respected a designer would be to build a house like that now; it was so modern and catchy.  But Frank Lloyd Wright built it back in the 1930's.  The design was all his own and has certainly stood the test of time, bringing in aspects others hadn't even fathomed back then.  I loved the fireplace, even though the tour guide informed us that its original purpose hadn't worked out as planned.  We walked out onto the terrace to get a glimpse into the kitchen.  I really wish we would have been able to see in there.  Upstairs, we saw the bedrooms.  They had it made.  Opening up the windows to hear the waterfall would be the most relaxing sound to fall asleep to.  The low ceilings brought a sense of intimacy into the bedroom spaces.  I found it crazy how low to the ground all the beds were; now that I think about it, all the furniture was lower then todays standards would have it.  The bedrooms were so bright and airy compared to the hallways in which led to them.  I loved how Frank Lloyd Wright had brought the outdoors in throughout the house.  The house truly looked like it fit into the landscape very well.  This house alone truly changed the way I think about design.  All the houses today seem so simple compared to what can be done if you try.  It taught me not to be scared to step outside of my comfort zone and design the most extravagant thing I can think of.  While Frank Lloyd Wright was not the best person, he was an amazing designer and I can't wait to see more of his designs.  This certainly won't be my last trip to Fallingwater.

This picture is temporary until I'm able to upload the ones that I took.