It’s hard to tire of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. It always seems fresh and relevant, even on a second or third visit. No matter what trends monopolize attention in current home design and construction, they seem to be played out in Wright’s buildings done many moons before.
That dynamic was on display this week during a tour of Wright’s Taliesin West in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains north of Phoenix. The compound still operates as a school, training roughly 30 architecture students a year. Students used to work beside Wright himself. Now they work alongside, and within, his buildings and sitting at drafting tables in a studio he designed.
Most of the building walls were constructed with boulders found on the property, long before green standards granted points for such an endeavor. Wright would help students arrange the rocks in wood forms so that their colorful sides faced outward. To conserve on cement, the forms were first filled in with additional boulders.
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