Frank Lloyd Wright is probably the best known American architect, with a body of work that has influenced and shaped the course of building in this country. His former home, Taliesin West (pronounced Tally-ehssen) in Scottsdale, Arizona, has become the international headquarters for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and is also open for public tours.
Taliesin West was built in the mid-1930’s, and is an example of Wright’s concept of organic architecture — building that evolves naturally out of it’s location. He design and built ecological sound, sustainable architecture long before it’s current popularity. It’s no surprise then, that Wright, along with some architectural apprentices, gathered desert rocks and sand to build this showcase home that is both in the desert and of the desert.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is just another museum. Part home, part museum, and part art, Taliesin West is home to a working community of architects and students who live, work and study at the site, with a purpose of continuing the Wright architectural legacy. The site covers over 600 acres, in addition to the complex.
Some of the notable features of Taliesin West include:
- Cabaret Theater (film)
- Pavilion Theater (performing arts)
- Drafting studio
- Wright’s architectural office and living quarters
- Outdoor pools, terraces, and gardens
- Workshop and residences for students and staff
- Experimental desert residences (built by apprentices)
A variety of tours are offered, including Panorama (1 hour), Insights (1 1/2 hours), Behind the Scenes (3 hours) Desert Walk, Shelter Tour, Night Lights on the Desert, and a Photography tour (all 2 hours). For the holidays, an additional Holiday Light Tour (2 hours) is added. The Taliesin West tour schedule provides a full listing of tour availability (based on season), duration, and cost.
Taliesin West, now a National Historic Landmark. is located at the intersection of Cactus Road and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, approximately 114th Street, (map) in northeast Scottsdale. In addition to public tours, it is also available for rental for receptions, dinners, and meetings.
Photo credit: Artotem (exterior), Moody75 (bathroom) @flickr