The interior spaces of Taliesin West are just as stunning as those fabulous exteriors that you might have seen in my last post. The famous Frank Lloyd Wright left nothing to chance, but instead applied his genius to everything down to the smallest detail. He loved to manipulate spaces – so that as you walk through his designs you feel cloistered and protected at the entrance, then suddenly you’re thrust out into wide open expanses that allow you to become one with the environment once again.
By using natural materials native to the region, he continues his organic style throughout the structures.
He incorporated lots of skylights…
and windows into his designs so that you can appreciate the outdoors as you’re safely ensconced in the building. Take a look at that corner window. A Frank Lloyd Wright exclusive – he was the first to use it – no more posts blocking the view in the corner of the building.
A funny story we heard on the tour…there were no windows or glass in the infancy stages of construction, and Wright loved it that way. He preferred the further blurring of lines between indoors and outdoors. However his wife quickly tired of critters, from furry to slithering, that continually invaded her home. Glass was ordered and installed!
Leaving nothing to chance, he designed all of the furniture that would be included in his homes, and famously would rearrange the furniture if it wasn’t placed where he thought it should be when he visited his clients homes (often unannounced).
Notice the low furniture and low vaulted ceilings? Wright wanted everyone sitting to appreciate the view (the view he planned for you to see). Again, everything orchestrated. He was a very vain man, so you don’t see a lot of art on the few walls that there are – his architecture stood alone as the artwork and embellishment.
These winged chairs are surprisingly comfortable! Those stools however, were not so much! It has been said that he designed them to be uncomfortable so the guests wouldn’t stay too long.
There are fireplaces in every room. Above, is in one of two offices. This room is so light an airy, thanks in part to the sun streaming in through the canvas roof.
This smaller more intimate fireplace is in his private study/office. Notice the Asian influence? It’s very prominent, throughout the rooms, Buddhas and Asian artifacts were incorporated into the design both outside and in.
As I’ve said over and over, you didn’t mess with his designs, even when it comes to accessories. That jar was staying put even if it meant cutting a hole in the glass to allow for the placement to be exactly where FLW wanted it.
The master bath is lined in stainless steel – interesting, no?
Remember, Taliesin West is a working educational center for architectural students. Below is their dining room. We were lucky enough to peek into their design spaces as well, but were not allowed to take pictures.
The Cabaret Theater, the last stop on the tour, is one of three theaters on the property. Wright loved movies and live entertainment. Notice how the seats are angled? That’s so no one gets a kink in their neck! The acoustics are amazing in this room, just like in Carnegie Hall – how did he think of all these things?
Notice a color theme here? Frank Lloyd Wright’s favorite color was Cherokee Red, and he used it in most of his designs. It was evident everywhere! Notice how nicely it blends with the yellow ochres and umbers of the native stones.
Oh, and by the way, Taliesin is pronounced “Tally-essen. I found out I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all these years! Am I the only one?
I absolutely loved visiting here, and could go back again and again, it’s supposed to be stunning at night. If you happen to find yourself in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area and love architecture, this is a must see. I suggest you order tickets online before you go – they sell out fast. Here’s the link
I hope you’ve enjoyed my little tour as much as I have putting together these two posts.
Until next time…