Built in 1937, Taliesin West was an experiment in desert living that evolved at the hands of master architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his apprentices until he passed in 1959. Conceptualized as a refuge from the harsh winters of the Midwest, the complex—which grew to include a drafting studio, dining facilities, three theaters, a workshop, Wright’s office and private living quarters, and apprentice and staff residences—takes direct inspiration from the arid landscape. Watch the video below for an exclusive tour of the grounds:
Over the years, Wright continually rethought previous design solutions and rebuilt sections of Taliesin West with the assistance of his apprentices. Today, the complex continues to be the headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and School of Architecture.
Set amid the desert foothills in Scottsdale, Arizona, Taliesin maneuvers its way through terraces, landscaped gardens, pools, and walkways, which provide views to both the mountainous peaks and the urban valley. The structures maintain a strong connection to the desert. Long, low, sweeping lines and up-tilting planes make up the buildings, ensuring natural ventilation and protection from intense desert sun. Walls were made from local desert rocks, stacked within wood forms, and filled with concrete. Natural redwood timber framing exudes rich red hues, blending nicely with the earthy and sandy tones of the walls. Wright's interest in using locally available materials creates a close relationship between the buildings and the landscape.
Taliesin is a series of spaces that are connected through experiences within the natural setting. In contrast to the heavy stone masonry, a light canvas-covered roof delicately shelters the interior. Compelling environments are a blend of rich primary hues and natural materials, accented by detailed craftwork.
Taliesin West is a dynamic community that is open to the public, providing a broad range of guided tours that draw visitors into the details, spaces, and experiences of Taliesin. Whether you want to view the private collections, go behind the scenes, visit Wright's private quarters, or experience the natural setting, a visit to Taliesin is sure to delight and inspire as you meander through one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most personal creations.
Learn more about tours provided by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation at this spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece here.