Design Competition: New Cottages at Fallingwater, June 12–August 22, 2010, The Heinz Architectural Center
Pittsburgh, PA… Carnegie Museum of Art will exhibit design proposals by six architectural firms for green, energy-efficient cottages to be built in the vicinity of Fallingwater at Mill Run, Pennsylvania. Situated some distance from the house, the cottages will accommodate students, teachers, academics, and researchers interested in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s greatest architect, and in the ecology of the 5,000-acre Bear Run Nature Reserve surrounding this cultural landmark.
This is the first time a competition has been held for new construction at the Fallingwater property. The proposals by three American and three Canadian practices were submitted to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which preserves and maintains Fallingwater, at the beginning of May, and the winning design will be announced on May 21. Presentation boards and models by each firm will be exhibited June 12–August 22 in the Heinz Architectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art, where they will be on view to the public and to students participating in the museum’s summer architecture camps.
“We are delighted to exhibit these proposals, which represent a 21st-century interpretation of many of Wright’s concerns in the 1930s yet also address today’s pressing issues of environmental stewardship and sustainability,” said Raymund Ryan, curator of architecture at the Heinz Architectural Center.
“Contestants should not only integrate good design and modern technology into their ideas,” added Cara Armstrong, Fallingwater’s curator of education, “but also ask themselves how living in harmony with nature is inseparable from the modern ideals of good design.”
The six participating firms, each known for environmental sensitivity, are:
- Marlon Blackwell Architect, Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Wendell Burnette Architects, Phoenix, Arizona
- MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Olson Kundig Architects, Seattle, Washington
- Patkau Architects, Vancouver, British Columbia
- Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, Montreal, Quebec
The winning design should incorporate the use of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly building materials. The cottages will be situated to take full advantage of natural heating and cooling opportunities and to minimize environmental impacts. Each structure should include a basic kitchen, a fireplace, and a shower, and should recycle kitchen and shower gray water for use in the toilets. They must be easily maintained during three seasons and just as easily closed over the winter.
“Our goal,” according to Ryan, “is not merely to exhibit proposals by these six distinguished practices but to integrate their drawings and models as exemplary references into our annual summer architecture camps presented in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon’s School of Architecture, which run from June 14 through August 13.”
For six years, the museum has hosted architecture camps that serve more than 200 children and teens each summer. For the 2010 camps, there will be a special weeklong workshop for high school students including discussions and design activities related to the exhibition and an overnight stay at Fallingwater, where students will work to refine their project ideas. Younger campers will use the exhibition to explore topics ranging from green building design to the creation of a model city or a dream house. The full summer camp schedule is available online or by calling 412.622.3288.
Additionally, Design Competition: New Cottages at Fallingwater will inspire a number of programs throughout the summer:
- Culture Club: Building Beauty, June 17, 5:30–9 p.m. Raymund Ryan and Cara Armstrong tackle issues of aesthetics and architecture in a gallery conversation designed to spark audience participation. The evening begins with happy hour at 5:30, followed by gallery conversation at 6:15; the galleries remain open until 8 p.m., and the bar until 9 p.m. $10 includes admission and two drink tickets.
- ARTventures Family Day, July 31, 12:30–4:30 p.m. Cara Armstrong offers readings throughout the afternoon of her children’s book about Moxie, the dachshund from Fallingwater. Gallery games and art-making activities inspired by Fallingwater continue on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through August 22.
- “Bound Together” Book Club, August 12, 6:30–7:45 p.m. Raymund Ryan leads a brief gallery talk followed by discussion of T. Coraghessan Boyle’s The Women: A Novel, inspired by the life of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Designed by the great Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) for the Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh and built between 1936 and 1939, Fallingwater is the most important house in 20th- century American architecture and one of the most famous in the world. In 1963, Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., transferred ownership of Fallingwater and its grounds to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (www.WaterLandLife.org). Today, Fallingwater welcomes approximately 150,000 visitors annually and serves as a symbol of living in harmony with nature.
The design competition is organized by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which preserves and maintains Fallingwater, through a grant from The Fine Foundation. The programs of the Heinz Architectural Center are made possible by the generosity of the Drue Heinz Trust. General support for the exhibition program at Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Carnegie Museum of Art
Located at 4400 Forbes Avenue in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, it is nationally and internationally recognized for its distinguished collection of American and European works from the 16th century to the present. The Heinz Architectural Center, part of Carnegie Museum of Art, is dedicated to enhancing understanding of the physical environment through its exhibitions, collections, and public programs. For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art, call 412.622.3131 or visit our web site at www.cmoa.org.