Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Bloghouse Scottsdale - Day 5

I was fortunate enough to have time for an additional night at the Andaz Scottsdale and a final FAM tour with Experience Scottsdale before heading to the airport. Before leaving the hotel, I fueled up on this Purple Power bowl with lightly brûléed bananas, kiwis, blueberries, yogurt, coconut milk, pistachios, and granola, along with an iced latte. 
Frank Lloyd Wright's Office at Taliesin West

I have always been a bit obsessed with Frank Lloyd Wright and his architecture, so when Jen from Experience Scottsdale said that Taliesin West was top on her list of "not to miss" things in Scottsdale, I easily decided to go out for a tour. Taliesin West was Frank Lloyd Wright's third and final studio + home (he liked to build them together for the "shorter commute"). And, in case you were curious, Taliesin is located in Spring Green, Wisconsin and Frank Lloyd Wright and his students spent winters at West and Summers at the original location.

One third of Frank Lloyd Wright's work was completed between the ages of 80 and 91, including the Guggenheim, so this location was (and still is) home to much creativity. The properties, walls, wells, and roads were built by hand over ten winters, starting in 1937 with the help of 23 male and female apprentices. This site is still home to an accredited school of architecture, the smallest in the country.
In 1928, Frank (I think I can I call him that now that I've been in his house) and his third wife, Olga, camped south of Tucson for eight months in a canvas tent (like you did back in the day). He liked the translucent light coming through the canvas so much for drafting, that he built the roofs of Taliesin West's buildings from canvas panels to mimic them, hence the soft glow inside his office.
You can see them more clearly in this photo of the living room, which was a separate building. All the buildings on the property were connected by pathways and I honestly lost track of what was connected by doorway inside or hallways outside. Frank is credited with inventing many things, including the living room. He started building them in the 1920's so that people could be together in a crowd of people they loved and trusted the most.

Although he invented many things, he didn't file many patents because he thought they took too long. However, he did patent his signature color, Taliesin Red, seen throughout this room. He also invented a way to collect the rain coming down that hit the canvas panels into guttering systems to have greywater for other uses. He was so prolific in his designs and managed to write more about architecture than anyone else in the world, including Leonardo da Vinci. 
One of the many bedrooms on the property where you can see not only the iconic architectural design elements, but also the Japanese art influence, which is most apparent around the property in the height and width of the doorways, ceilings, and low seating. In the bottom left corner you can see the edge of the canvas screen that could be left open to let the outdoors in.
This is the courtyard outside of the Cabaret (behind the red doors). I couldn't capture a good photo of this, but if you visit and look at the reflection of the bubbles coming out of the fountain on the blue background, you'll see tiny little stars. 
Inside the Cabaret, the acoustics are 98% perfect, so there's no echo and it's excellent for listening to Beethoven (Wright's favorite composer, who he said made "liquid architecture") and movies, which he loved (the screen is the white canvas square in the background).
I learned so much from Molly, our tour guide, in 90 minutes, so hopefully you learned something too. If you see anything factually incorrect, do let me know, I was trying to take notes and photos while balancing an umbrella for shade. Thanks!

2 comments:

  1. Taliesin West is one of my fav spots in Scottsdale, I love Frank Lloyd Wright. I visited in January and thought to myself I would not want to be in these glass rooms in the summer - you are a warrior!

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    1. Yes, me too - I learned so much in such a short amount of time! Haha, it wasn't too bad, they have some air-conditioning for the students that we could enjoy as well. I want to get to Taliesin in Wisconsin next!

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