For spring break in March, my boyfriend and I decided to do a 5 day road trip, somewhere within a 500 mile radius of Chicago. He literally took out a map and compass and drew a circle of 500 miles around Chicago, and we noticed that Pittsburgh was within those limits. Guess what is near Pittsburgh: Fallingwater.
But rather than make it a drive-there-and-back type of road trip, we planned a few stops along the way. Poor guy had no idea what kind of architectural pilgrimage he had signed himself up for.
Our first stop was Columbus, Indiana, home of buildings by many famous architects, including many by Eero Saarinen, namely the Miller House, which is one of the few residential buildings he designed, which has only recently been opened to the public. We did go on a tour of that, but since photos were not allowed, I will have to show you a few other buildings designed by Saarinen:
The Irwin Union Bank and Trust (now First Financial) which is right downtown (a charming downtown, and we saw it on a perfect spring day, with all the buds in the trees out).
and the North Christian Church, which looks a bit like a space shuttle landing, but I suppose that is in part due to my "artistic" camera angles.
Since Pittsburgh is a city of hills and valleys, we took a funicular up to the top of Mt. Washington, on the west side of the river, for a great view out over the city, and a few beers at a local bar.
The last stop on our small tour of America was Toledo, OH, where we got to check out the Toledo Art Museum, and I got to geek out on Sanaa. My first taste was a tea service in the main building, which I was totally entranced by even before I knew who had designed it. The reflections go on forever.
And yes, of course we went across the street to the glass pavilion where we enjoyed a demonstration by a glassmaker who works at the museum. The space is really quite wonderful, making you question, probably without even realizing it, the real nature of glass's transparency, how it loses that transparency when stacked layer over layer, and can become a real barrier, even though you can still see through it.
this one, from Richter's website, is pretty good.