|Buildings echo the triangular shape of the mountains.|
So, we did what any normal people would do when faced with a difficult choice. We chucked all decision making for a weekend escape in Scottsdale!
|Taliesin Living Room - Wright created most of the furniture. Notice the recurrent triangular design.|
The name Taliesin, Welsh for "shining brow," reflects Wright's belief that the best spot to build a house is not in the valley, where one never has a sweeping view of the valley, or on top of the mountain, which destroys the view of the mountain itself, but right on the "forehead" or "brow" of a mountain so that the views of both the valley and the mountain are maintained. He succeeded with Taliesin because there are sweeping views of the desert while the McDowell Mountains stand guard behind. The house itself also reflects its surroundings, of course, with pointed triangular shapes to echo the mountains, and swaths of grass, gardens, and pools to lead the eye toward the valley beyond.
Inside the house and the neighboring buildings used as classrooms for the smallest, accredited architectural school in the United States (never more than 36 students), Wright's philosophy is evident everywhere. He believed that a room should surprise with its spaciousness, so the entrance to most every room involves a small, narrow hallway that "compresses" the visitor before "releasing" him into the expansive larger space. He built most of the furniture to be practical and aesthetically pleasing with its repetitious triangular angles, and both his bedroom and his wife's have moveable walls to expose the rooms completely to a private, walled garden. In the auditorium is another of Wright's inventions, indirect lighting. Aggravated with latecomers who interrupted concerts with annoying flashlights, Wright dug into the floor every few feet to install lights. Then he covered the lights with--you guessed it--triangular shades.
|Biltmore Hotel Lobby|
Click here for lots more information about Taliesin West. You can also order tour tickets on-line at this site.
Happy hour at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel is from 5-7:00.
Since David had a meeting in Scottsdale on Saturday morning, we spent the night at a particularly pleasant La Quinta Inn-Arcadia in Phoenix. The Inn was close to Taliesin West and the Biltmore, cost less than $65, and served an enormous breakfast that allowed us to skip lunch altogether.