Known as the Charles and Alta Myers Residence, a sprawling 10,000-square-foot home in Scottsdale, AZ, comes complete with an awesome architectural pedigree.
The curvaceous home was designed by John Rattenbury, an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright and co-founder of Wright’s Taliesin Architects. Wright and Rattenbury worked together on the equally curvy Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Rattenbury died last year at the age of 92.
This five-bedroom, nine-bathroom dwelling is on the market for the first time since its construction in 1991. It’s priced at $6,485,000. Elements of the home custom-made by Taliesin Architects include stained-glass windows and doors and a copper-colored frieze.
The residence embraces a key trait of Wright’s organic aesthetic: It’s built right into a hillside, Pinnacle Peak boulders in this case. The colors used inside and outside the home correspond with its desert setting. See the photos here.
From Timeline comes a free streaming documentary called Frank Lloyd Wright: America’s Greatest Architect?
Frank Lloyd Wright is America’s greatest ever architect. But few people know about the Welsh roots that shaped his life and world-famous buildings. Now, leading Welsh architect Jonathan Adams sets off across America to explore Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces for himself. Along the way, he uncovers the tempestuous life story of the man behind them, and the secrets of his radical Welsh background . In a career spanning seven decades, Frank Lloyd Wright built over 500 buildings, and changed the face of modern architecture.
Frank Lloyd Wright: America’s Greatest Architect? will be added to a list of free documentaries. More here.
On a flat piece of land near a dry riverbed, a student puts the finishing touches on framing a small, pitched-roof structure, set to be coated with a mud plaster finish. Up a hill, a group gathers in a classroom to learn the nuances of universal design, diving deep into a schematic design for a three-structure family compound for a couple who both use wheelchairs. In another room, a young scholar makes an architectural presentation for a group audience.
Architectural Record notes two years after a split from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, what was once known as The School of Architecture at Taliesin and before that, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture has made a soft landing on a wind-swept mesa in central Arizona and is thriving, despite the odds. Now known as The School of Architecture (TSOA), the school is growing roots at Arcosanti, the work/live/learn community founded by the late Paolo Soleri on a vast Arizona cattle ranch in 1970, about 65 miles north of the original school outside Scottsdale.
The school traces its roots to an apprenticeship program founded by Frank Lloyd Wright 90 years ago, which offered hands-on training both at Taliesin in Wisconsin and at Taliesin West, as the sprawling Scottsdale outpost was called. After the death of Wright’s widow in 1985, the program became formalized, received accreditation, and began offering a professional degree called a master’s in organic architecture. But several years ago, friction arose between the school and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which owns both Taliesin properties. The foundation spun the school off as a separate entity in 2017.
For a while in late spring 2020, it seemed as though the school would cease to exist, says entrepreneur Dan Schweiker, who joined the school’s board in 2018 and is now its chair. He credits architect Victor Sidy, the school’s dean from 2005 to 2015, as instrumental in the push to save the school. “I was surprised at how steadfast the enrolled students were about wanting to continue their education,” says Sidy, now a member of the school’s board. “They were committed and passionate about the school, even when shutting it down seemed inevitable.”
That the school could move smoothly from Taliesin to Arcosanti should come as no surprise, explains school president Chris Lasch, who joined in 2016 as dean of academic affairs and runs the Tucson- and New York-based firm Aranda/Lasch. “The school has always been nomadic,” he says. “For decades [from 1937 until 2020] everything was packed up and moved seasonally between Wisconsin and Arizona. In the summer of 2020, instead of going to Wisconsin, we packed up and moved to Arcosanti.”
The curriculum, faculty, and accreditation also remained intact, Lasch says. Prior to the split from the foundation, Aaron Betsky, the school’s former president, opted to move on from the school. Lasch stepped into the president’s role and reached out to Stephanie Lin to become dean. “I was drawn to the distinctiveness of the program and the culture here,” says Lin, who has a design practice in New York and previously taught at The Cooper Union. “It’s a huge opportunity and a transformative experience to continue the school and experiment with something new.” Read the entire article here.
If you’ve been hoping to own a piece of architectural history, now might be your chance.
Derby House—designed by Lloyd Wright, son of famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright—is on the market for just under $3.3 million. Built in 1926 for the businessman James Daniel Derby and his family, the Glendale, California home is best known for its distinctive facade, designed with concrete ornamentation inspired by Mayan architecture.
Most of the house is made of concrete, wood and glass, allowing the space to feel light-filled and airy, especially the double-height living room. And the home’s interior is just as stunning. The two-story, five-bed, three-bath house features open living spaces, a hexagonal dining room and a floor-to-ceiling fireplace within its 3,300 square feet. Purple- and pink-tiled bathrooms lend some color to the otherwise neutral, earth-tone home. Accents throughout—such as the garage and fireplace grates, French door grills and closets—mimic the surrounding yucca plants, a nod to Wright’s practice of integrating nature and design, a practice he inherited from his father.
Wright never quite reached the same level of fame as his father, but he did create some exceptional buildings throughout Los Angeles, such as the Wayfarers Chapel in Palos Verdes and the John Sowden House in Los Feliz. “Lloyd Wright was extremely versatile, much more so than his father,” the late architectural historian David Gebhard told the Los Angeles Times in 1993. “And he was a meticulous craftsman. In some ways, his concrete-block designs have held up better through the years than his father’s better-known work.” See the photos of the Derby House here.