Taliesin West
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Darmok and Jalad
N 33° 36.404 W 111° 50.802
12S E 421449 N 3718873
Quick Description: Southwestern living laboratory of Frank Lloyd Wright and winter home to the Taliesin Fellowship.
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 6/21/2006 11:15:16 PM
Waymark Code: WMFDT
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Rayman
Views: 190

Long Description:
The seed that grew into Taliesin West began not as a grand scheme, but a simple need. Frank Lloyd Wright and his apprentices had traveled a long distance from his Taliesin school in Spring Green, Wisconsin to build a resort hotel in Chandler, Arizona. Because they were far from home, they set up camp on a stretch of the Sonoran Desert near the construction site.

This early encampment contained little more than temporary shelters made of wood and canvas. However, Frank Lloyd Wright was inspired by the dramatic, rugged landscape. He envisioned an elaborate complex of buildings which would embody his concept of organic architecture -- architecture which evolves from and blends with the environment.

In 1937, the desert school known as Taliesin West was launched. Following in the tradition of Taliesin in Wisconsin, Wright's apprentices would study, work and live in shelters they crafted using materials native to the land.

Lugging stone and sand, the students constructed "desert rubblestone" buildings which seemed to grow from the earth. Wood and steel beams supported translucent canvas roofs. Natural stone combined with glass and plastic to create surprising shapes and textures. Interior space flowed naturally into the open desert.

For awhile, Taliesin West was a retreat from the harsh Wisconsin winters. Eventually, air conditioning was added and students stayed through the fall and spring.

At Taliesin West, the desert is never still. Over the years, Wright and his students made many changes, and the school continues to evolve. Today, the 600 acre complex includes a drafting studio, Wright's former architectural office and living quarters, a dining room and kitchen, several theaters, housing for apprentices and staff, a student workshop, and expansive grounds with pools, terraces and gardens. Experimental structures built by apprentice architects dot the landscape.

According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Taliesin West is one of 17 buildings in the United States which exemplifies Wright's contribution to American architecture.


Taliesin West today houses The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (fundraising), The Frank Lloyd Wright Memorial Foundation (archives), and The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. The Taliesin Association of Artists, a group of architects dedicated to the spirit of the founder, is also onsite at Taliesin West.

There is a broad array of public tours depending on the season and the time available for your visit. Recommended reading includes "Taliesin and Taliesin West" by Kathryn Smith and "Tales of Taliesin" by Cornelia Brierly.
Year Completed: 1937-1959 and beyond

Commissioned By: Frank Lloyd Wright

Nearest City or Town: Scottsdale, AZ

Public/Private: Public

Tours Available?: yes

Website: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
There are no specific visit requirements, however telling about your visit is strongly encouraged. Additional photos of the building or house to add to the gallery are also nice, but not required. Pictures with a GPS or you in them is highly discouraged.
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