Taliesin West is a National Historic Landmark and former home and studio of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The 600-acre property in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona, was developed over a thirty-eight year period beginning in 1937. If you are a fan of architecture or simply enjoy learning about different cultures, Taliesin West is definitely worth a visit. More about Scottsdale.
Taliesin West was designed by Wright as a winter retreat and laboratory where he and his students could explore new ideas in American architecture. The design of the buildings on the property was inspired by the natural surroundings, using indigenous materials such as desert plants, rocks and boulders, and canyon walls.
The complex includes a main house, guest houses, studios, classrooms, offices, and Wright’s personal residence. The main house at Taliesin West, called Wespard by Wright, was originally built as a winter home and retreat for the architect and his students from the Taliesin Fellowship. The fellowship, which was based in Spring Green, Wisconsin, still exists today and owns several other properties, including the original Taliesin home in Spring Green and the Walter House in Chicago.
Wespard was designed to take advantage of the desert environment, with large windows to let in the sunlight and deep overhangs to provide shade from the heat. The walls are made of adobe bricks that were made on site, and the roof is made of concrete. The main house has two levels, with the living areas on the upper level and the bedrooms on the lower level. There are also several small guest houses on the property, as well as a studio and office building where Wright worked.
The buildings are arranged around courtyards and gardens, and the views of the desert landscape are integral to the design. With various events held throughout the year, Taliesin West is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The property is also available for rental, and has been used for weddings, corporate events, and more.
Taliesin West is an important example of Wright’s organic architecture, which seeks to integrate buildings with their natural surroundings. It is also one of the most significant architectural sites in the American Southwest. Taliesin West is open to the public for tours, and it is also the headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. More information here.