In Phoenix which urbanization has progressed, the surroundings of the Taliesin West have still left a dry and rocky landscape of Arizona and is dotted with a cactus and a low shrub. The urbanscape of Phoenix keeps away from here and is like a mirage bordering the scenery of a desert which is bleak but difficult to refuse. In response to the loose ups and downs and the scenery of a desert, the architecture of the Taliesin West spreads skillfully.
The landscape around the buildings is monotonous and not extraordinary notable, but such a delicate geographical scenery seems to have a high affinity with the design of Frank Lloyd Wright.
In this project, the horizontal design pet for Wright spreads, separating buildings and reflecting a gentle slope of the land and warm climate.
In the center of the plan which imitated the bow, drafting rooms, the dining room, the garden room and private spaces for Wright himself are disposed at the cross.
The inside are continuous with the outside, opening to a desert scenery and adding devices such as a pergola, planting and a pool. So, the subtler complexity than I imagined from its drawing appears.
The geographical slope can be transformed to several horizontal lines and each level is replaced by the next level slowly. According to the level, the line of a roof and a window also changes little by little. Most are one storied building. Meanwhile, a high-ceiled space is dug deep on the ground. The height of the institution is controlled and doesn't protrude from the silhouette of the geographical feature. Without damaging the original landscape, diversified parts are created and the topos is re-interpreted vividly and relaxedly.
The concrete which embedded rock doesn't look indispensable finish in the First Christian Center in the center of Phoenix. However, in the Taliesin West, the color and texture of the yellow desert landscape is just reflected on the architecture by the effect of the concrete. Desert Masonry Rubble Walls which Wright named fit for surely.
As for dim red brown color painted on Redwood of a window frame and a roof beam, I regarded as an arbitrary color until coming here. However, under hard sunlight and the color sense of a desert, which had faded out, the red brown color, which was neither white nor strong, synchronized with a landscape, meanwhile it also created a delicate balance which didn't give up to be an architecture.
Even so, how hot it is in Arizona and the Taliesin West at the beginning of May ! All rooms run an air conditioner at maximum. It is natural because it is an architecture to spend a warm winter and vacate during the summer. It is important to ascertain move time for an environmental architecture.
The strength of sunlight is not ordinary. A guide talked that the damage of a white canvas sheet which covered a roof and an exposed wooden beam were serious and those were exchanged every 5 or 6 years. It is no wonder. Because, at the early stage, Wright himself thought to take off the canvas sheet during the uninhabited period of summer as a material without permanency.
50 minutes by car from downtown Phoenix.
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Frank Lloyd Wright's Encounter with the Arizona Desert - Quarterly 2010.02 issue' (Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, 2010)
"建築ガイドブックーフランク・ロイド・ライト" (Arlene Sanderson、水上優訳、丸善、2008)
2018.01 Photos and text in English version and Japanese version
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