Take a 360° Virtual Tour of Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Personal Home & Studio

360 tour taliesin2

You can learn a lot about an archi­tect from look­ing at the build­ings they designed, and you can learn even more by look­ing at the build­ings they lived in, but you can learn the most of all from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Tal­iesin. For that best-known of all Amer­i­can archi­tects, this house stands still today not just as his home but as one of his notable works, and as the stu­dio in which he designed oth­er notable works (includ­ing Falling­wa­ter). Wright’s enthu­si­asts make pil­grim­ages out to Spring Green, Wis­con­sin to pay their respects to this sin­gu­lar house on a hill, which offers tours from May through Octo­ber.

For those less inclined toward archi­tec­tur­al pil­grim­ages, we have this HD 360-degree “vir­tu­al vis­it” of Tal­iesin (also known as Tal­iesin East since 1937, when Wright built a Tal­iesin West in Scotts­dale, Ari­zona). “The cen­ter of Frank Lloyd Wright’s world was Tal­iesin East,” write the online tour’s devel­op­ers. “It was his home, work­shop, archi­tec­tur­al lab­o­ra­to­ry and inspi­ra­tion for near­ly all his life.” In the com­fort of your web brows­er, you can “expe­ri­ence what he saw dai­ly, sur­round­ed by Asian art, expan­sive views of Wisconsin’s rolling hills, his own court­yard gar­dens and a space to relax before a fire watched over by a por­trait of his moth­er.”

You can also get a view of “the actu­al draft­ing tables where Wright designed his most famous build­ings” and the draw­ings on them, all while “staff his­to­ri­an Keiran Mur­phy shares the his­to­ry, the per­son­al sto­ries and points out spe­cial objects in the room” (if you choose to keep the “tour guide” option turned on). And Tal­iesin cer­tain­ly does­n’t lack his­to­ry, either per­son­al or archi­tec­tur­al. Wright built its first iter­a­tion in 1911, and it last­ed until a para­noid ser­vant burnt it down in 1941, axe-mur­der­ing sev­en peo­ple there (includ­ing Wright’s live-in ladyfriend and her chil­dren) in the process. Wright, who’d been away at the time of the tragedy, recov­ered from the shock of it all, then set to work on Tal­iesin II, though he did­n’t real­ly live in it until after he returned from his work on Toky­o’s Impe­r­i­al Hotel in 1922.

Three years lat­er, anoth­er fire (this time prob­a­bly due to an elec­tri­cal prob­lem) bad­ly dam­aged the house again, neces­si­tat­ing the design of a Tal­iesin III, which he could begin only after dig­ging him­self out of a finan­cial hole in 1928. It is more or less that Tal­iesin that you can see today, whether you vis­it in per­son or through the inter­net. If you feel suf­fi­cient­ly inspired as a result, you could even apply to study at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Archi­tec­ture locat­ed there. While the house won’t like­ly turn you into an archi­tec­tur­al genius just by osmo­sis, at least you can rest assured that it has prob­a­bly put its most dra­mat­ic dis­as­ters behind it.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Frank Lloyd Wright Reflects on Cre­ativ­i­ty, Nature and Reli­gion in Rare 1957 Audio

The Mod­ernist Gas Sta­tions of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling­wa­ter Ani­mat­ed

Col­in Mar­shall writes on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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  • Scott Witte says:

    err… 1914 instead of 1941 ;-)

    Thanks for fea­tur­ing this. It was a very pleas­ant sur­prise to see. Glad you and so many oth­ers enjoy and hope­ful­ly learn some­thing inter­est­ing from it.

    Speak­ing of learn from it, the tour has been used as a class­room resource at schools and uni­ver­si­ties around the world allow­ing them to take a vir­tu­al field trip to some­place they oth­er­wise may nev­er have expe­ri­enced. Kin­da cool.

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