Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

a life in architecture

  • Comment
Bryan Avery

For architect Bryan Avery, whose imax cinema opens on 1 May, buildings which have special significance are the Soane Museum; the San Stefano Rotondo and Bramante's Tempietto; and, in particular, Taliesin West (below).

In the 1960s, Avery hitched a lift out into the Arizona desert to find Taliesin West nestling under a rocky outcrop. 'Its influence still reverberates to this day, though many people would not see it in my work,' says Avery. For him it sums up Wright's masterly handling of the relationships between materials, structure, the genius loci and technology.

The inspiration for Taliesin West was the desert camp at Ocatilla, Arizona, built by Wright in 1928 in the form of a traditional Indian fortress with a canvas roof. Avery points out the references: the innovative stone and concrete base, not unlike Le Corbusier's beton brut, evoking desert rock and time past, but also - with its layered striations - the classical rusticated base, while the lightweight red timber framework echoes the language of the forests and open plains. For Avery, Taliesin West is a model of environmental engineering: rock/stone for storing cool air, timber and canvas to admit light and wind. Internally, he finds the labyrinthine layout 'a tour de force', illustrating Wright's dynamic use of geometry in plan and section to give enormous richness of space.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.