Fallingwater and its inspired PPG paint color series

In 1930, architect Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned by Edgar Kaufmann Sr. to create a magnificent structure, sprouting from a leafy, rocky hill, straddling a waterfall. This magnificent mountain retreat, named Fallingwater, was completed in 1939 and today remains a National Historic Landmark.

Fallingwater Architecture
Fallingwater was originally built as a vacation home for Edgar and Liliane Kaufmann, and their son Edgar J. Kaufmann, jr.

Fallingwater truly is an architectural feat, stretching over a 30′ waterfall and looking to protrude directly from the leafy, earthy terrain behind it. Frank Lloyd Wright told the Kaufmann family that he wanted them to live with the waterfalls, to hear them and to make them a part of their everyday life — not just to look at them occasionally.

American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, designed and constructed Fallingwater 1936-1939.
American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, designed and constructed Fallingwater 1936-1939.

Originally, the house was painted with only two colors:  light ochre on the concrete and Cherokee red on steel.

In 1996, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) group in charge of Fallingwater’s preservation began an extensive restoration project. During this time, PPG was selected to play an instrumental role in the restoration, charged with finding a solution for a hardy paint that could withstand the moisture associated with being in such close proximity to a 30-foot waterfall.

Interior shot of Fallingwater
Fallingwater’s interior was originally painted only two colors in order to maintain a unified, organic look. Light ochre, and Cherokee red.

At the heart of this challenge is PPG’s Pittsburgh Paint Pure Performance, a low-odor, zero-VOC premium latex paint. Finding the right coatings and waterproofing solutions for Fallingwater is important, but another goal of the conservation group was to keep with Fallingwater’s requirements and vision, which is to have a “profound respect for nature and the least impact on the environment.”

Since Fallingwater has been open to the public, it sees over 130,000 visitors every year — and many of these visitors are inspired by the magnificent abode to paint their homes in similar colors.

To celebrate Fallingwater, the fascinating architecture, and the humbling inspiration, PPG has put together a Fallingwater color collection within their Voice of Color series. These 13 shades, authenticated by the WPC, come directly from fabrics, walls, and furniture inside the home, as well as from the surrounding landscape.

Falling Waters Color Palette Jones Paint And Glass
PPG’s Fallingwater color palette from their Voice of Color series.

What do you think of this inspiring palette?
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