Located on a historic farm adjacent to Frank Lloyd Wright’s renowned Fallingwater residence, High Meadow serves as home base for students of Fallingwater Institute’s summer residency programs in architecture, art, and design.
Positioned between forest and field, four modest dwellings with simple wood interiors and framed vistas of the surrounding hilltops rest lightly above ground on a network of nimble steel columns and delicate tectonics, imparting minimal disturbance to the site. An angled shroud at the end of each unit catches cool breezes rising up from the valley floor below and shields the naturally ventilated rooms from the summer sun. Screened entry doors allow for additional airflow and connect the units to a covered walkway.
The building’s main entry welcomes visitors into a central screened porch, which joins the new architecture to an existing cabin and serves as the outdoor gathering and dining space. A horizontal pine screen—harvested and milled on site—extends from the cabin and continues along the walkway leading to the dwellings. The screen’s curated openings create dappled light and glimpses of the adjacent woods. As one continues along the walkway, the screen dissolves, extending toward the meadow and a path leading to Fallingwater.
Materials and finishes are deliberately minimalistic and durable. Cabin exteriors are clad in cedar stained shale gray. Cork flooring is used within the units and bathrooms, while shower surrounds are lined in Pennsylvania slate. Built-in shelving and furniture is made of plywood, lending an unadorned quality to the space. A small desk and simple chairs provide settings for study or reading. Regionally sourced wool blankets adorn the beds.
Faithful to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s mission to restore, preserve, and foster an appreciation of the natural world, these four cabins complement their rural setting in both form and function, and provide students of all ages the opportunity to study and experience the beauty of the surrounding landscape.