DAY 18 – Taliesin West

We determined that staying in Maricopa made sense until Dave finished riding through all the suburban sprawl that is Phoenix.  From where he started in Surprise, that would add up to more than 60 miles!

Monday, March 18, I drove him to Surprise, than headed across town to Scottsdale to visit Taliesin West, the Frank Lloyd Wright home and school of architecture  in the desert.  Getting there turned out to be a challenge.  I trusted Destiny, the GPS, & it took me to a golf course adjacent to the property.  One of those “you can’t get there from here” frustrations.  A local dog walker pointed me in the right directions when I was lost in his neighborhood.  Lesson learned: don’t rely on the gps alone.

I’ve visited Falling Water (the home he designed & built over a waterfall) in Ohiopyle, PA several times and recently read “Loving Frank”, historical fiction that refueled my interest in his work. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check Taliesin West out & wasn’t a bit disappointed. Building Taliesin began in 1937 and finished in 1959. The guy had a remarkable mind & kept working into his 90’s.

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A bit about FLW (from the FLW foundaton website)
Wright’s anchor and muse was Nature, which he spelled with a capital “N.” This was not the outward aspect of nature, but the omnipresent spiritual dimension. He wrote:
Using this word Nature…I do not of course mean that outward aspect which strikes the eye as a visual image of a scene strikes the ground glass of a camera, but that inner harmony which penetrates the outward form…and is its determining character; that quality in the thing that is its significance and it’s Life for us,–what Plato called (with reason, we see, psychological if not metaphysical) the “eternal idea of the thing.” 
Wright himself grew up close to the land and in touch with its creative processes and it gave him constant inspiration for his architecture. He believed architecture must stand as a unified whole, grow from and be a blessing to the landscape, all parts relating and contributing to the final unity, whether furnishings, plantings, or works of art. To materially realize such a result, he created environments of carefully composed plans and elevations based on a consistent geometric grammar, while skillfully implementing the integration of the building with the site through the compatibility of materials, form, and method of construction. Through simplification of form, line, and color, and through the “rhythmic play of parts, the poise and balance, the respect the forms pay to the materials, and the repose these qualities attain to,” Wright created plastic, fluent, and coherent spaces that complement the changing physical and spiritual lives of the people who live in them.

2 thoughts on “DAY 18 – Taliesin West

  1. John

    I didn’t know you were such an architecture nerd. A history nerd, a flower nerd, sure, just not a FLW nerd. Good for you.

  2. Janice

    So glad you got to experience Taliesin West. Looks like there are some new sculptures since we were there. And we had trouble finding the place too — preGPS and small map.


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