Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Eco Tour....Taliesin Hillside School...."

One of our stops on the Eco Tour was at Taliesin Hillside School, where Frank Lloyd Wright taught architecture classes. It is still used 6 months of the year for classes, with the other 6 held at Taliesin West, in Arizona. The building behind Don is the Assembly Hall (left), which is connected to the structure on the right via an enclosed archway, where the work studio, living quarters, classroom, and museum room, are located.

This is a replica of the Romeo and Juliet Windmill Tower, that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his aunts when they ran their school on the property, prior to his making it an architectural school.
A fountain outside of the studio/living quarters shows an example of some of the neglect and deterioration that the property is experiencing. Even though there is an existing school and tours are given daily, the money just doesn't stretch far enough to keep the school in top condition. The preservation society does what it can with what it has.........

This section of building behind Don is the theater. Although not large, it is designed so that each seat has a great view of the stage area and the acoustics are excellent.

I am standing in front of the Assembly Hall. It has a large area for assembly on the 1st floor, in which the center of the ceiling is open to the 2nd floor where the library is located. It was innovative in its approach with regards to it's "load bearing" design, using 4 corner pillars to support the 2nd floor, with it's open center, allowing the natural light from the 2nd floor windows to help illuminate the interior of the 1st floor. This photo shows how each window is one continuous piece of glass, stretching from the 1st to the 2nd floor. This design is not only a good one for bringing natural light into the space, but also allows solar heating to easily take place. Of course, heat retention would be much better served if the windows were double glazed, but since double glazing came later in the century, and Taliesin Hillside School is being preserved in it's original form, double glazing doesn't seem to be an option. :)

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