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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Frank Lloyd Wright influence

There was an article in the LA Times this morning about a home for sale in Ojai that was designed by Rodney Walker.  I have not researched Walker, but it is obvious he was influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The article mentions that Walker's Ojai home takes the shape of an equilateral triangle, one of Wright's primary design elements, and the house has lots of glass walls to bring the outdoors in.  And it's yours for only $3.5 million!  In November I was in Scottsdale for a weekend and my friend Elaine and I took a tour of Taliesin West.  I had meant to do this a dozen times before, particularly during the years that I organized the Scottsdale (later Glendale) Rubber Art Stampede.  But the show was always in June and it was blazing hot; not conducive to walking the grounds of Taliesin West.  Our docent took us on a 90 minute tour and pointed out so many elements of Wright's designs that are so subtle when you observe the complex that you are hardly aware of them.  Wright was one of the first architects to use recessed lighting and probably the first in modern America to recycle, repurpose and use materials found in the environment.  Some of Wright's ideas worked, some did not.  He used redwood extensively, and later the redwood had to be replaced.  It did not stand up to the desert environment.  As we were leaving I spied a young coyote just hanging around the grounds; he was obviously waiting for one of the many quail or bunnies that we saw during our tour to wander away the safety of the formal grounds and make him a nice snack.  He wasn't afraid of us at all!  Below is a shot of Taliesin West.  The students of the architecture school (which is still operating) dragged the rocks from the mountain behind the site to build all the walls of the complex.  I highly recommend taking a tour of Taliesin West the next time you visit the Phoenix area.

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