Inside Outside

Posted: 14.01.2009

After decades of anticipation, I finally had the opportunity to visit Fallingwater, the private house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, located in southwest Pennsylvania. I was a great deal more impressed with the experience than I expected. No photos can do justice to the sensation of being in this house which unites the “inside and outside”. Not only are Wright’s aesthetic principals and uniquely crafted solutions in evidence at every turn, but his obvious love of Zen and Japanese aesthetics is far more prominent when experienced in person. It is a triumph of intention over engineering. I can imagine that a stay at Fallingwater really did restore its visitors. In Wright’s own words:

Beautiful buildings are more than scientific. They are true organisms, spiritually conceived; works of art, using the best technology by inspiration rather than the idiosyncrasies of mere taste or any averaging by the committee mind.

The Christopher Schuch series devoted to 21st Century Garden Art features the work of Shunmyo Masuno, the Japanese Zen priest and garden designer of Kenkoh-ji Temple. Masuno’s statements seem to dialogue with Wright’s:

How to create beautiful forms (is the question) in Europe and in the West. We are not designing forms but designing the atmosphere. How to create the atmosphere, that is what we put most effort in, designing this atmosphere.

I truly believe that a person looking at a peaceful garden everyday, will become a peaceful person. On the other hand, a person looking at an unkempt and thorny garden will eventually become an unkempt and thorny person. A garden truly can change people and restore to them their humanity.

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