Taliesin East, Spring Green

We arrived at Taliesin on Saturday and stayed in the hillside until Tuesday. Once a loyal fellowship of Frank Lloyd Wright, it is now an accredited school of architecture, with a small class of 30, including bachelor and masters students. The small, enclosed atmosphere of the school reminded me of Ideal Mini, where the connection and interaction between students and staff was very close knit than at a larger university with classes of 100.
Upon arrival, we attended the Taliesin Tapes, a lecture consisting of five Wisconsin architects each talking about their projects and their approach to architecture. Tilt-up seems to be an innovative method of construction, fast growing in Wisconsin.

#89. The Hillside community was built for Wright’s aunts who started a school in Taliesin. It consists of the Assembly Hall, Theater, Drafting Studio, and Dining Hall.

Lobby of Assembly Hall, Main building
Assembly Hall

#90. Tan-y-deri

We stayed at Tan-y-deri, a house built for Wright’s sister, Jane Porter. She wanted the Fireproof House, also known as the “Small House with Lots of Room”, which was published in the Ladies’ Home Journal in 1907. The house was to be a mass-production home made of concrete, resisting fire as well as insects, moisture, and weather effects. However, the location of the house was on a hillside surrounded by nature. So instead of the concrete, Wright used dark shingle-sided wood cladding, which, along with its stage of mid-construction, may have instigated the image of its haunted nature. The hipped roofs and diamond-pane windows apparent in Wright’s early works is preserved and they are continuing to restore the building. The students of the school are to put in a certain number of hours to restoring the house which go toward their work hours.

#91. The Romeo and Juliet Watertower is located on top of a hill beside Tan-y-deri.

#92. Midway Barn

Inside of the silo. Looks like a portal.

Stone piers used to support an extension of the house.

The composition between cylinders make an interesting perspective. The top of the stone is a combination of multiple faces of a hipped roof.

#93. Frank Lloyd Wright’s residence and studio was located farther away, up the hill.

Inside Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio
View looking towards the studio, on a full moon night.

In the evenings, we headed to the Shed, one of the three bars in the little town. Both students and professors gathered to enjoy the night with drinks too cheap for our own good. On another day, we escaped the scorching 30 degree heat by driving to a nearby beach.

On Monday, we were able to sit in on their Design Studio class, where they started off with readings, and ended with group crits. The second course we attended, Construction Contracts, went over Document A201 in depth. The class consisted of 4 Masters students and the professor, who was a practicing attorney. I was able to sit through the 5 hour class which would have been tedious without the vigorous descriptions and the individual attention given to each student. I am considering pursuing my Masters here. Our three-day stay at Taliesin was unforgettable and I am looking forward to coming back.
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