I was lucky enough to visit Scottsdale’s #1 tourist attraction, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. Wright began building his Scottsdale-based winter home in 1937. He, his wife and architecture students lived there on and off for many years.
Taliesin is located in northeast Scottsdale, on the beautiful Sonoran desert in the foothills of the McDowellMountains, offering a broad range of guided public tours. Visitors experience Wright’s brilliant ability to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces on over 650 acres of open land.
It’s hard to imagine, but all of the glass and permanent shades seen in the photographs were once open, exposing the entire home to the natural elements. Canvas shades were the only protection residents had from the blistering desert heat, rain, and cold nights.
Architecture students lived in tents scattered around the surrounding foothills. The only grass – as seen in the photos – was planted and maintained as a safe “play” haven for students’ children. The fountain water is pumped from an underground source, which still flows today.
Wright drew from Asian themes, which are present throughout the home. Including statuette themes (pictured below) embedded in cement columns.
Be sure to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation website for more information on Taliesin West and other Wright works.