students at taliesen west in arizonaThe School of Architecture at Taliesin’s Shelter Project has a long tradition.

It 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, traditionally, 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. Apprentices 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.   The School of Architecture at Taliesin’s Shelter Project

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 began a special shelter project of considerable significance: the renovation of the Student Lounge. school of taliesen west in arizonaThe 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 had headquarters since Mr. Wright passed away in 1959. 
Students have continued in 2020 to expand the 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. The work this year added a new roof on the conference area.The School of Architecture at Taliesin

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.

For more information about the Shelter Projects and to contribute to the Student Lounge project, click here.


school of taliesen master program