Taliesin West is a masterful complex of buildings that was designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright, and today, the famous architect's former Arizona winter camp now houses his renowned school of architecture. The exact location of the home for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is the upscale destination of Scottsdale, which lies just outside of Phoenix. The name Taliesin West plays off the name of Wright's former summer home in Wisconsin. Taliesin, as this summer retreat is known, can be found in Spring Green, Wisconsin, for those who are looking to complement their Frank Lloyd Wright Phoenix experience.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation at Taliesin West aims to celebrate and preserve its namesake's ideas and legacy. The Foundation boasts the School of Architecture, where students can work on undergraduate and graduate degrees. For those who are just stopping by to enjoy Taliesin West tours, getting insight into Wright's architectural theories is part of the deal, as is learning a little bit about the various buildings. Native stones, sand, and gravel were used to build the complex, as Wright's approach leaned heavily toward using native materials in the building process. The mostly reddish-brown colors blend in well with surrounding desert, and the stonework is complemented in excellent fashion by the relatively rugged mountain terrain. The beautiful McDowell Mountains frame the scene, making for a truly magnificent setting.
There are different kinds of Taliesin West tours to choose from, and they include public tours and special group tours for fifteen or more. The Behind the Scenes tours are the most informative, and they last around three hours. In addition to covering the history of Taliesin West, these extended tours include opportunities to speak to associates of the Foundation. One of the other tours includes a walk in the McDowell Mountains foothills, while another allows visitors to enjoy the dazzling setting of Taliesin West at night. When the sun sets, the site takes on an almost magical effect, especially when the interior lights of the various structures go on.
The Taliesin West Phoenix experience is an unforgettable one, especially for architectural enthusiasts who are interested in the life and works of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is important to note that certain tours are only offered at certain times of the year. The 90-minute desert walks, for example, are only offered between the months of November and April. In addition to enjoying Taliesin West tours, those who wish to enjoy the site can also take advantage of the rental facilities for things such as weddings and corporate events. Both indoor and outdoor spaces are available for special parties and private events, the largest of which can accommodate up to 300 people.
For those who truly want to enjoy the Frank Lloyd Wright Phoenix experience, visiting some of the architect's other creations is worth adding to the list of things to do. There is a small collection of homes around Phoenix that are linked to the famed architect, including the Norman Lykes and Jorgine Boomer houses. There's also the impressive Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium at Arizona State University. This auditorium hosts Broadway shows and other performing arts events. On Mondays, free half-hour tours can be enjoyed, and visitors are allowed to take photos of the public facility if they please.