Architecture Student Describes the Process of Building Her Desert Shelter
Xinxuan Liu | Apr 30, 2019
When Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fellowship at Taliesin and Taliesin West was first developed, architecture students learned by doing, when they created their own desert shelters to live in. Today, this tradition lives on through School of Architecture at Taliesin students. After months of hard work, student Xinxuan Liu’s shelter is nearing completion. Here she dissects the process of creating and building the shelter from start to finish, and what she learned along the way.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Tell us about your shelter. What inspired the creation and the name? What is the shelter made of and how does it relate to the site?
How did the site you chose impact the design of your shelter?
I shrunk the design of Ava from my original 12 foot plan to 10 feet. We built mockups for both heights, and quickly realized the larger size would be too dominating, not to mention that part of the palo verde would be cut off. I also got rid of the door because the privacy might be achieved by the tree and the existing trail to Ava.
How long did the process of creating and building the shelter take you from start to finish?
What has been your favorite part of this process and what was the hardest part? What were some of the valuable things you’ve learned along the way that you will take with you moving forward?
My favorite part of the process has been the construction. I really enjoy the intensity of working together to build something. Everybody was at the same fast tempo. The hardest part was dealing with the weather. I started at the beginning of the summer. Sometimes it becomes unbearable to work in the heat. I won’t forget the magical feeling of working with everybody toward the same goal.