Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous winter home was the first stop on our recent vacation to Arizona. Located 20 minutes from downtown Scottsdale, it is an inspirational architectural masterpiece. Designed and built by FLW and his apprentices, the work started in 1937 when Wright was 70. The layout of this rambling structure is true to his ideology of honoring the surrounding landscape. Many design cues came from the shapes of the McDowell Mountains that were a dramatic backdrop. The raw materials of sand and stone that surrounded them in the Sonoran desert were mixed with cement to build what he called "desert masonry rubble walls". Other natural elements were used, cedar wood and canvas panels for the roof, and the original design had no windows.
Our tour guide was fabulous, having intimate knowledge of Wright, his 3rd wife Olgivanna, and the interns that worked and live there. We were able to tour every room and space, and learned of his innovative designs and technological experiments. The site is still home to some of the original apprentices, a talented sculptor and students of the school of architecture.
I marveled at the modern design, gained a new found appreciation for the scope of his work, and was so inspired as a designer. I highly recommend visiting if ever in the Scottsdale area.