Falling Water

Frank Lloyd Wright-

Visionary Leader

From vision and vourage to innovation, beauty and wonder…


This jewel of American architecture (Falling Waters, 1934-37) is not only beautiful and inspiring – it is also the creation of a man with great vision and courage.

Frank Lloyd Wright defied the laws of civil engineering to build this home – using re-bar and concrete in a cantilevered structure – dismissing engineers who argued vigorously that the structure would crumble without steel beams. Wright found engineers who could make it work and in the process at age 60+ catapulted himself from a well known architect to arguably one of the greatest architects of the modern era.

A few years ago, the 50+ year old structure at Fallingwater was assessed by current day civil engineers for structural integrity. When they plugged the measures and values into standard engineering software, the calculations indicated that the building, as built couldn’t stand … they modified the software’s assumptions in order to determine that indeed the home was structurally sound, and could expect to enjoy many more years in the enchanted valley.

Wright had the vision to think beyond the constraints of his time and the courage to challenge accepted practices. He took significant risk by going against conventional wisdom … and in the process created a masterpiece of a lifetime that launched American architectural thought to new heights.

Leadership Learning

  • Wright’s criterion for hiring engineers was simple – choose ones that could make the vision work … and they did.
  • Master your craft, nurture your vision, and act on it courageously and boldly…
bob devlin
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