Like pots that once hung from this metal rod around the fireplace in Wright’s Taliesin West bedroom, Wright’s mother hung onto her son – to excess from what I read. Our tour guide gave credit to his mother’s influence for having them in his bedroom. A throwback from his Welsh ancestry, Frank Lloyd Wright designed a fireplace for every room. This one used both wood and metal.
Frank Lloyd Wright attended to every detail in his structures from the nails to the accessories. Even the rod and metal hooks to hang pots reflected his geometric design element. However, we all wondered why the wood shelves extended into the fireplace. We also didn’t learn what he cooked in those pots – aromatherapy, maybe?
Famous for using natural materials in the environment, Wright also employed the newest technology into his structures. The Empire State building, built in 1931, pioneered the use of aluminum in its basic structure. Our tour guide mentioned that Wright used aluminum in Taliesin West, but I was too busy taking this window picture to hear how.
Aluminum was used artistically in the 1920s, but wire nails were also coming into vogue around this time. Maybe he used aluminum nails in this door. He based the design on the picture painted by native American on the rocks at the entrance to his complex.
If you excel at Trivial Pursuit below is an interesting tidbit about the use of aluminum in buildings built around the same time as Taliesin West.
“Architectural use of aluminum slowly increased in the 1920s, mainly for decorative detailing. Aluminum was one of the white metals popular in the modern movements of architecture and art. When it was proven that aluminum could be shaped by most known methods of metal working, its inclusion in architectural and industrial settings surged. Since it could be rolled into sheets, it was used for roofing, flashing, gutters, downspouts, wall panels, and spandrels; it could also be extruded into lengths of specialized profiles or cross sections for use in window mullions and frames, storefront surrounds, and doors. Because it was a favored color and could be cast, aluminum was chosen for interior trim in public buildings and commercial structures in the 1920s and 1930s.” Metals in America’s Historic Buildings
I hope you enjoyed this journey back to Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZ. For more of Cee’s Fun Foto entries click here.