School of Architecture at Taliesin

students at taliesen west in arizonaThe School of Architecture at Taliesin’s Shelter Project is a final capstone design-build project undertaken by students during their third year of the Master’s Program at the School.  It involves designing, acquiring materials, fundraising, and constructing a small structure on the grounds of one of the two School campuses: Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona or Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The students then live in the shelter during the final months of their studies at the School and prepare a written thesis regarding their project experiences.

The Shelter Project has a long and rich tradition at the School of Architecture and was begun in the 1920s, when Frank Lloyd Wright created his Apprentice Program to train aspiring young architects through a learn-by-doing curriculum.  Students assisted Mr. Wright in creating the iconic buildings at both campuses and then built their own shelters in the desert washes at Taliesin West and adapted farm buildings into living quarters on the 800 acre Taliesin site.    

Hurtado Zimmerman SC has been pleased to provide monetary support and in-kind donations of materials for a number of shelters over the past 15 years. Attorneys and staff from Hurtado Zimmerman SC have also crewed on with students to help with construction buildouts, and Kimberly Hurtado has provided feedback on thesis narratives that document the students’ design and construction processes.  

In 2019, the students have taken on a shelter project of considerable significance: the renovation of the Student Lounge. The students selected an existing unused desert masonry building located in the desert near campus to renovate into a place where students can relax and socialize, away from their intense academic activities and the Foundation tours that occur daily in the historic core buildings of the Taliesin West, a National Historic Register site, where both School and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation have headquarters since Mr. Wright passed away in 1959.  
school of taliesen west in arizonaAs these uses of the site, along with public access, have increased, it has made the need for developing a quiet student retreat a growing necessity. Student Jose Amaya has designed a new, versatile building, adapting the existing masonry and concrete structure with designs evocative of a number of well-known student apprentice shelters on site to answer this need for a Student Lounge.

Hurtado Zimmerman is pleased to support the development of the young architects at SOAT and to contribute to the preservation of architectural history at Taliesin for the Student Lounge Project, along with professionals from Thornton Tomasetti and Leica, which have donated structural engineering and as built point cloud scanning services for the project.

school of taliesen master programFor more information about the Shelter Projects and to contribute to the Student Lounge project, click here.