Sasaki to Lead Plan for Taliesin West

Taliesin West by Andrew Pielage, courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has selected the Sasaki to create a new, comprehensive plan for Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. This iconic site is significant culturally and architecturally as the winter home and desert laboratory of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

The aim of the comprehensive plan is to preserve and improve Taliesin West’s legacy while also ensuring its sustainability and relevance for future generations. Key objectives involve creating a unified plan and documentation to guide future work on the property, developing a responsive approach and design that respects the local ecology, and formulating a comprehensive vision for the site in collaboration with the new Interpretive Plan based on extensive audience research conducted in 2019.

A History of Innovation & Desert Ecology

Taliesin West was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019, a recognition of its outstanding universal value. Starting in 1938, the site served as Wright’s winter home and studio, embodying his principles of organic architecture and blending harmoniously with the surrounding landscape. The Sonoran Desert surrounding Taliesin West is a vital component of its design and plays a crucial role in the site’s development and sustainability.

Taliesin West by Andrew Pielage, courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

The Sonoran Desert is one of the most biologically diverse deserts in the world, home to many distinct species of flora and fauna adapted to survive in its harsh and arid conditions. Saguaro cacti, ocotillo, and palo verde trees are just a few of the plant species that thrive in this environment. Respecting the site’s desert conditions is essential when designing for Taliesin West. Our plan will examine the impact of climate change on these sensitive plant communities and prioritize sustainable design practices that reduce the site’s impact on the surrounding ecosystem.

Preserving the Past, Planning the Future

The Foundation is working with Sasaki to develop an Interpretive Master plan for the site as it aims to develop new modes of engagement and a wide array of tour and public programs, while maintaining a commitment to best practices in historic preservation and sustainable site management as outlined in the Taliesin West Preservation Plan.

Taliesin West by Andrew Pielage, courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

“We are honored to work with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to help shape the future of Taliesin West,” said Sasaki Principal Susannah Drake. “Taliesin West is not just a historic site; it is a living testament to Wright’s visionary approach to architecture and design. Our team is collaborating with the Foundation to create a plan that respects the site’s heritage while embracing ecology and sustainability.”

The comprehensive plan for Taliesin West represents a significant step in ensuring the long-term preservation and vitality of this architectural masterpiece. By engaging with the site’s history and ecology, Sasaki’s plan will guide the evolution of Taliesin West as a dynamic cultural destination and educational resource for years to come.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Sasaki are working together to further Wright’s Legacy of innovation and sustainable development into the future. The new comprehensive plan will be designed with a deep commitment to preserving and celebrating the site’s architectural and cultural heritage. By revitalizing this iconic site, the comprehensive plan not only ensures the preservation of a historic landmark, but also reaffirms the importance of contextual design that’s rooted in place.

About Damian Holmes 3274 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at