We visited Arizona recently, and one of the highlights was a tour of Taliesin West, a National Historic Landmark in North Scottsdale.
The home was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built between 1937 and 1959 as his winter residence, evolving over its 22 year creation. Wright and his apprentices spent several years handcrafting the home from the surrounding elements; rocks from the local McDowell Mountains make up many of the homes walls and landscape. Wood beams, unmarred by paint, accent the low ceilings and create the homes structure. Light is ever present and takes center stage. The home is a monument to Wright’s ingenious love affair with nature and element.
We were visiting in February, a magical time in the Sonoran Desert, but we could easily imagine the coolness of the spaces Wright set aside for comfort in the heat of May; the Grotto with thick stone walls, and small windows situated for air circulation;
Water from an artesian spring flowing all through the property;
The Cabaret with its multileveled seating and again, deep stone walls. Concrete is an element used throughout the home and adds to the natural comfort of the spaces.
The outside areas were just as impressive and appealing as the indoors. To me, that is what made the home so inviting. I know those beautiful desert skies full of stars, and the cool breezes that make sleeping with an open window so cherished. Wright created walls that could be completely opened in the night for that comfort. The breezeway with its massive fireplace just off the dining room would have been my main choice for lingering into winter evenings.
It is notable that the home is still used as a place of education, to inspire and hone architectural and engineering skills. And the public is a welcomed part of that mission.
Copper is my favorite natural element in our home. How do you include natural elements into your home design? What feelings do they create for you? Please let us know in the comments below.