Taliesin West is Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert laboratory in Arizona
“Taliesin West is a look over the rim of the world.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright, 1943
Taliesin West is a UNESCO World Heritage site and National Historic Landmark nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Wright’s beloved winter home and desert laboratory was established in 1937 and diligently handcrafted over many years into a world unto itself. Deeply connected to the desert from which it was forged, Taliesin West possesses an almost prehistoric grandeur. It was built and maintained almost entirely by Wright and his apprentices, making it among the most personal of the architect’s creations.
Having purchased several hundred acres of land in the then rural foothills of northeast Scottsdale, Wright began to conceive of a desert utopia comprised of low-slung buildings designed to reflect the sweeping expansiveness of the desert. Always in favor of local materials, Wright would construct Taliesin West largely of “desert masonry”: local rock set in wooden forms and bound by a mixture of cement and desert sand. In so doing, Wright hoped to preserve as much of the desert environment as possible by embedding his structures within the landscape. Canvas roofs bathe the interior spaces with light, while redwood beams provide Wright’s favored red accents. Over the years, the complex was continually altered and expanded, eventually including a drafting studio, dining facilities, three theaters, a workshop, Wright’s office and private living quarters, and residences for apprentices and staff. Each building is connected through a series of walkways, terraces, pools and gardens. Wright designed all of the interior furniture and decorations, the majority of which were made on site by the apprentices.
Wright would continue to spend winter in Arizona until his death in 1959. As the buildings of Taliesin West took on greater permanence, steel and fiberglass replaced the less durable materials. Life in the desert was active. The Fellowship’s hands-on architectural education was complimented by an active calendar of lectures, evening entertainment, concerts and theatrical performances. Taliesin West continues to serve as the vibrant home of both the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation carrying on many of the Fellowship’s traditions. A small number of the Legacy Fellows who lived and worked with Wright continue to live on the grounds.
Sunsets & Sips: a Happy Hour Program!
Sunsets and Sips is a Happy Hour program offered at Taliesin West. All tickets come with a beverage of your choice and access to these select spaces on property, with staff present to answer your questions. Bar service will be open for additional beverage purchases until 30 minutes prior to close. Open spaces differ with each offering, allowing you to experience something different every time.
Programs at Taliesin West
MEMBER EVENT: Better Together – Design and Architecture
July 27, 2022 – 8:30 – 10:30 AM Join Pat Evans, our Collections Registrar, and Brie Flewelling, FLWF Graphic Design Fellow, as they discuss the work of one of Wright’s early apprentices, artist and designer Eugene Masselink. We will see how his art ran parallel to Wright’s organic architecture by viewing his work across the […]
MEMBER EVENT: Full Moon Walk
August 11, 2022 – 8:00 – 10:00 PM Join us at Taliesin West as we take in a full moon from our unique vantage in the Sonoran desert. Mingle with fellow Foundation Members and go beyond our public view as we stroll through our beautiful landscape by moonlight – a truly special experience. Space is […]
MEMBER EVENT: History and Contemporary Practice
August 16, 2022 – 9:30 – 11:30 AM This summer, the Collections Department once again welcomed summer residential interns! These graduate students in art and architecture live on site for eight weeks and work with Collections Registrar, Pat Evans. In addition to their personal scholarship, interns spend time cataloging and caring for artworks and archiving […]
Host your event amidst the natural beauty of the desert and magnificence of Frank Lloyd Wright’s beloved home and winter retreat. A national treasure and historic landmark, Taliesin West is a stunning venue for memorable corporate events. We promise that your event at Taliesin West will be entirely unique and remembered for years to come.
Taliesin West may not be used for events that are political, activist, or religious in nature.
Frank Lloyd Wright Store
Just off the main entrance of Taliesin West, the Frank Lloyd Wright Store showcases great design. The Store features books, home decor, apparel, and art that not only celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright, but also the work he has inspired.