At "Night Lights" earlier this month, Localists were invited to experience an exclusive tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Taliesin West. While sipping a glass of Dos Cabezas red wine and looking south across the Valley at the sunset, it was easy to understand why 77 years ago, Frank Lloyd Wright felt compelled to say: "Oh, we have to build here, this is pure abstraction wherever you look." Though design buffs are drawn to the buildings of Taliesin West for the rich theory of Frank Lloyd Wright, the "Night Lights" tour was just as approachable and fun for the architecture novice. Here are 5 things we learned about Taliesin West and Frank Lloyd Wright through the Localist tour!
1. Frank Lloyd Wright used his apprentices for their skills and expertise, as well as their dance moves.
When Wright was still living, working, and teaching at Taliesin West, he found innovative ways to get his culture fix. Every Friday night, Wright would throw a mandatory party in his living room (pictured above), for all active apprentices on campus. The students would arrive dressed in their best suits, and each would bring with them a provided wooden box. The students would either stand on the box to recite poetry, or bring materials/props in their box to lead the group through a brief tutorial or magic trick.
2. Taliesin West was created with "No Dark Corners"
Meaning, if in the construction of the Taliesin West buildings, a beam or post would inhibit the view from within, it would be purposefully changed and the results would be an uninterrupted view through the glass windows.
3. The campus was built with no 90O angles.
As shown in the picture above, the Cabaret Theatre is actually a six-sided irregular hexagon, which creates stunning sound clarity for the audience. The benches created are placed at an angle with the wall, allowing folks to cross their legs, and still have a perfect forward view of the stage. The seating also subtly encourages audience members to cuddle up to their sweet-heart, while having ample room to rest their arms comfortably across the backs of the seats. Even in rooms with corners that look to be ninety degrees, the walls and windows are actually set at an angle.
4. Taliesin West is still in operation as a graduate program for design students.
Each year, a handful of students are admitted to the prestigious architecture school that utilizes three key phases of education: Foundation, Exploration, and Synthesis. Students work, eat, and sleep on the grounds that Frank Lloyd Wright himself lived in for several years (excluding the summer months).
5. Taliesin West has a great gift shop, with one of a kind books, jewelry, and art work.
Localists looking for specialty gift items this holidays season were pleasantly surprised by the many offerings the gift shop had in stock. A crowd favorite was the Frank Lloyd Wright style wrapping paper, along with woodcuts and coffee table books. The folks at Taliesin West were also kind enough to extend the holiday cheer with an exclusive discount for all Localists.
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