Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright in Half Life 2

Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright in Half Life 2

“Fallingwater” , a.k.a the Kaufmann residence, designed by Frank Lloyed Wright in 1935 is a very well known house in the architecture community. A beautiful and grand building in rural SW Pennsylvania, its intersecting monolithic shapes floating on top of an active waterfall which flows beneath the house. 


An architecture student called Kasperg created a 3D model of the house, not using traditional CAD but rather the Source Code of the Half Life, the science fiction first-person shooter computer game. The short film below demonstrates the visualisation quality of Half Life, and games engines in general, for standard walkthroughs and even fly-throughs using the Half Life “Noclip” option (half way into the movie). The Fallingwater “Map” as it’s called, was based on many layouts, floorplans and over 250 interior and exterior photos of the house and site. The Source Code allows the use of dynamic lighting and a real-time high resolution walkthrough of the scene. 


This provides a very good example of alternative uses for game engines, as the features once thought to have been exclusive to 3D pre-rendering programs, 3D artists can explore the next-generation game engines as a possible next step in presentation and interaction with architectural and other 3D models. 

As Half Life is finally available on the Mac, thanks to the online gaming platform Steam, it’s a great chance to not only see the Kaufmann house in pictures and in video, but experience it while walking through it “live” by downloading the Half Life 2 Kaufmann House Map and playing it. 

To find out more about Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater at http://www.fallingwater.org/

Architect - Tech Writer - 3D Artist - 3D printing enthusiast