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The Shelters at Taliesin West, Scottsdale, AZ

Karin Jeske

Taliesin School of Architecture Shelter 1

A tradition dating back to the founding of Taliesin West in 1937, the winter home and school of Frank Lloyd Wright, was that his students would sleep in shelters that were built as part of the learning process.  Today's students in the 3 year Master's program at the School of Architecture at Taliesin spend many of their nights sleeping in shelters built by other students, preparing to build their own, with a budget of $3000 for materials, and no help.  These shelters have no utilities and are and are exposed to the harsh elements of the desert climate.  

My husband and I had the pleasure of taking a tour of some of these shelters, by Cynthia, a second year student from Mexico.  Here are some of my favorites, some of which are 40 years old, that demonstrate creativity, resourcefulness, technical understanding and attention to aesthetics:

Taliesin School of Architecture Shelter 2

Taliesin School of Architecture Shelter 3

Taliesin School of Architecture Shelter 4

Taliesin School of Architecture Shelter 5

Taliesin School of Architecture Shelter 6

Taliesin School of Architecture Shelter 7

Taliesin School of Architecture Shelter 8

Taliesin School of Architecture Shelter 9

Taliesin School of Architecture Shelter 10

Next time you are in Phoenix/Scottsdale, I highly recommend this 2-hour walk through the highlands surrounding Taliesin West.



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