Project Information

taliesin west

Title Taliesin West
Work Completed Preservation Master Plan
Date Completed 2015
Client Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Location Scottsdale, Arizona

Taliesin West is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most important works. It is a National Historic Landmark and is a key component of the serial nomination of Frank Lloyd Wright sites currently on the United States Tentative List for World Heritage. It was Wright’s great experiment in the desert created as an escape from the bitter winters of his home, Taliesin, in Wisconsin. Initially built in 1938 as a winter camp on the western slope of the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, Taliesin West evolved into a layered complex of buildings where a community of dozens of people lived, worked and played. It was Wright’s desert masterpiece where he experimented with many of his ideas about organic architecture and its relationship to the landscape. Nearly every year between 1938 until his death in 1959, Wright would make changes to some part of the complex.  Futher changes were made by his wife, Olgivanna Wright, and his son in law, Wes Peters, after Wright's death.  

Taliesin West also served as the winter residence for the Taliesin Fellowship, Frank Lloyd Wright’s school of architecture, where hundreds of young “apprentices” were trained in the ideas of organic architecture. It continues to serve as the winter campus for the school to this day.


In early 2014 Harboe Architects won a national selection process to develop a Preservation Master Plan for the campus and its 80,000 s.f. of buildings.  The Preservation Master Plan described how Taliesin West evolved over time, documented the then current conditions of the various buildings, and outlined the road map for the future restoration and long term care of the whole facility. A critical part of the document was to establish a preservation philosophy that will guide all the future work for the complex. The plan was completed in May 2015.