For Christmas, we were gifted a tour of the magnificent Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West (thanks mom and dad!!). We had high hopes; after all, Wright is world renowned and one of the world’s most famous architects.
These sculptures, called “sprites”, are a signature design aspect featured in a lot of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs. Although the material, angles, and shapes seem harsh and bold, the sprites all seemed to possess a sweet and subtle disposition of their own.
The Garden Room (pictured above) was our favorite room. One of the things we loved most about Taliesin West was Wright’s desire to bring the outside in. This room was just one of the many examples of his ability to do so seamlessly.
On the tour, we learned of Mr. Wright’s need to control as many aspects of his design process and product as he possibly could. One way he established a firm grip on his design aesthetic was to permanently install furniture pieces where he wanted them in the rooms. One can’t easily reposition a couch or chair that’s bolted to the floor.
Learning about Wright’s quirks was also fun. For example, the 2 ceramic vases in this photo were placed in those spots by Wright himself. When it came time to install glass in these rooms, Wright insisted the jars stay where they were (hence the cut-outs in the glass which allowed the vases to stay put).
We LOVED these brightly colored pillows! It was sort of an unexpected choice given the more muted color palette of the rest of the grounds.
Here, we were entering the cabaret theater where the Wrights hosted some extravagant parties. At the end of this hallway was the back of the theater, where one would have been greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Wright as you entered. Not only did they prefer the back so they could welcome their guests, but it was also closest to the fireplace where they could keep warm on the chillier winter nights.
The tour guide informed us that in every room that contained low to the ground couches and chairs, Mr. Wright intended for people to enjoy these spaces most from a seated position. When relaxed on these modular couches, one can see a panoramic view of the city out of the thin, horizontal windows.