I was fortunate enough to have time for an additional night at the Andaz Scottsdale. This also allowed for a final familiarization tour with Experience Scottsdale (so this post is sponsored) before heading home. This Purple Power bowl with lightly brûléed bananas, kiwis, blueberries, yogurt, coconut milk, pistachios, and granola was the perfect fuel for my day.
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, I decided to go. Taliesin West was Frank Lloyd Wright’s third and final studio + home (he built them together for the “shorter commute”). And, in case you were curious, Taliesin is located in Spring Green, Wisconsin. 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. This makes this location home to a lot of 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 and his third wife, Olga, camped south of Tucson for eight months in a canvas tent. He liked the translucent light coming through the canvas for drafting so he built the roofs of Taliesin West’s buildings from canvas panels to mimic them. This provides 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. It was easy to lose track of what was connected by doorway inside or hallways outside. Wright is credited with inventing many things, including the living room in the 1920’s. He started building them so 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 the canvas panels into gutters to provide greywater for other uses. Wright was prolific in his designs. He also 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. This was most apparent around the property in the height and width of the doorways, ceilings, and low seating.
This is the courtyard outside of the Cabaret (behind the red doors). If you visit, look at the reflection of the bubbles coming out of the fountain through the blue background. You’ll see tiny little stars.
The Cabaret at Talesin West has 98% perfect acoustics, so there’s no echo. It’s excellent for listening to Beethoven and watching movies. Beethoven was Wright’s favorite composer, who he said made “liquid architecture”).
I learned so much from Molly, our tour guide, in 90 minutes, so hopefully you learned something too. If you see anything factually incorrect, let me know, I was trying to take notes and photos while balancing an umbrella for shade. Thanks!