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General: This project was a part of my Masters degree at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. It is a student dwelling, where I would reside for my last year of schooling. The building site is within the 640 acre desert landscape campus of Taliesin West. I designed and built every piece of this project with countless donations of student labor and building materials.
Concept: Historic inhabitable bridges (“Living Bridges”) where constructed of two distinct elements- a platform to span the obstacle, and an architectural superstructure built upon the platform. The concept of bridging a desert wash enveloped two critical ideas: to minimize the destruction of the desert landscape and to provide an area of shaded refuge from the hot desert sun.
Architecture: This project was designed with notions of experimentation and human scale. The building was for a single occupant and is ergonomically correct for bodily movement (human scale). Spaces upon the platform recall different buildings upon an historic living bridge, and also act as transition areas defined by clerestory lighting and spatial expansion or contraction.
The building has Cantilevered angled walls that speak to both human movement and spatial expansion.
Beams cantilever to reveal mitered glass corners allowing the lines between inside and outside to be diminished.
Glass connects solid massing to form an aesthetic of solid and void, while the building masses are proportioned to a musical scale.
The project was designed with Feng Shui philosophy and positively analyzed by a Feng Shui master. It is powered by photovoltaic solar panels and all materials are natural and recyclable.
It was Frank Lloyd Wright’s philosophy that living in primitive shelters, without power or water, creates an intimate understanding of Nature and how it should influence building design. This is true. The beauty of silence and orchestra of Nature surrounding this building was purely poetic.
Conclusion: This project was my testament toward architectural creativity and experimentation, spatial dynamism, and poetic nature. The outcome is a building that will influence the creative spirit for students that will call this structure “home” during there stay at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.