A visit to Taliesin West - An architectural treasure of Frank Lloyd Wright - Exterior Building

Georgina Sonmor Architectural Photography Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright

A dreary day met me when I pulled up to Taliesin West.  This architectural treasure of Frank Lloyd Wright brought me to Scottsdale, Arizona.

I joined the Insights Tour and there were 19 people in my group.  So capturing clear, unobstructed photography of this architecture, proved to be a test within itself.  The dreary weather did not enhance the photography either, but, this experience was too special not to share. I did get quite a few pictures so I will break down the blog into a series of three: exterior, interior, and landscape.  So stay tuned for the interior and landscape portions of the series.

A whole, new way of thinking about architecture was the message on this tour.  The materials used, the location of his buildings, and his beliefs in structure, just to name a few.  Tom, our tour guide, was very informative, answering our questions long before we could ask.  He told us stories that made the tour special.

We first met in the gift shop, to register with our tour, which was filled with books, jewelry, dishes, lamps, etc.  Very well done, somewhat of a candy store for Frank Lloyd Wright aficionado's.   

Taliesin West is operated and lovingly preserved by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright  Photography by Georgina Sonmor

The tour began at Frank Lloyd Wrights office (space to the right) where he gave presentations and delivered his drawings.  A very small entry door that opened up into an expansive area.  The roof was originally made out of canvas to let through a beautiful illuminating light, however, it had to be changed to a more sturdy material to withstand the hot climate. 

Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright Scottsdale Arizona Photography by Georgina Sonmor

As we rounded the corner and got more of a central view of the building, it was explained on the left side was the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.  We did not visit the area to the right of center.

Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright Photography by Georgina Sonmor

This is the side view of Frank Lloyd Wrights School of Architecture.

A front entrance to Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright Georgina Sonmor

Frank Lloyd Wright wanted the doors to be small and short, as not to take away from the overall design.  He also wanted the visitor to feel how the space opened up once you come through the small door. These smaller, red doors are just to the right of the school work area.  You can see from the way the roof line builds upward once you are through the doors.

Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright Photography by Georgina Sonmor

This is Frank Lloyd Wrights residential wing.

Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright Photography by Georgina Sonmor

On the left is the exterior of Frank Lloyd Wright and his wife's bedrooms, which face out onto a lush green courtyard with some sculptural elements.  The living room is in a L configuration from the bedrooms, and could accommodate 50 people, which also had this lovely view.

Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright Photography by Georgina Sonmor

This is the walkway back to the entrance from the personal living areas.   On the left is the cafeteria with blue chairs designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Beyond that is the school.  Understandably, we were walking past students working, and they asked that we not take any pictures or stop and look in.

We concluded the tour in The Music Pavillion and The Cabaret Theatre. 

Please join us again for the upcoming interior tour blog we enjoyed while visiting this amazing treasure.

All pictures and text are the ©Georgina Sonmor - Sonmor Creative Inc. 2018.



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  • Tammie on

    Very interesting – thanks for sharing. Looking forward to seeing the inside.

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