I recently took a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona where I had the opportunity to check out Taliesen West, the winter home and architectural school of famed modernist architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Established in 1937 at the foot of the McDowell Mountains, Wright himself designed the headquarters and frequently made new improvements and modifications over the years.
The stunning complex strongly conveys a sense of place, carved into the surrounding desert. Wright insisted on using locally-sourced materials, so much of the structure is composed of rocks and wood from the area fused together with cement. Translucent canvas was also widely used in the structure, particularly in the drafting room. This allowed more light to invigorate the space with natural energy and connect it with the elements.
Taliesen West adheres to the modernist principles and attention to detail favored by Wright, endowing the rock-filled structure with a primitive elegance. It was powerful to experience such an architectural marvel that carries on Wright’s legacy to this day as the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.