Today's blog comes from Candace Weir, Central Library staff:
Who doesn’t dream of a secret hideaway in some remote spot, where you are surrounded by the beauty of nature? More fodder for those dreams is encapsulated in one small book entitled Under Arizona Skies: the apprenticeship desert shelters at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen West.
It starts, “Tucked away in the desert surrounding Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West is a landscape of architectural experiments.” For seventy- five years, students from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesen West have been building and living in experimental designs. Conceived as an alternative to dormitory rooms, they are spaces where students can experience the natural environment and learn to design in response to it.
Some of the more adventurous students have taken the miniscule start-up money provided by the school. Then, they scrounged materials from the School junkyard, from the surrounding desert or found builders to donate materials for these fascinating little shelters.
Some of the shelters are identified by the name or nationality of the builder like Lath Shelter or Japanese Shelter. Other names refer to the type of structure or place like Desert Perch, Lotus and Ironwood. The Brittlebush Shelter really caught my eye with its graceful amorphous canvas roof, elevated sleeping platform and fireplace. I also found a blog which offers an in depth perspective to the design.
It is nice to dream and maybe plot and plan. How lovely it would be to live in a climate where an open-sided tent seems like a great idea for most of the year. Sigh.