Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Frank Lloyd Wright Glass at the Phoenix Biltmore

I finally made it to the Phoenix Biltmore, my very first visit to a building that Frank Lloyd Wright designed (well, I did go to the bathroom inside NYC's Guggenheim Museum, but I don't think that counts). I treated four women to the high tea there and played checkers on a giant outdoor checker game, but those are other stories. This story is about the glass.

There it was, inside the lobby as promised-- Wright's beautiful stained glass window that an art enthusiast said my glasswork had reminded her of. It is gorgeous. Full of color and life and flow. Wright used the Saguaro cactus as his inspiration as well as the colors of the desert.

The whole hotel exudes Wright. I love how he designed every little piece of it, from the lobby furniture to the lighting. The lighting fascinated me. You know how just about every hotel has some chandeliers or table lamps or overhead lighting of some sort? Well, Wright didn't just choose lighting fixtures that "fit into" his design. The lights are an integral part of the design itself.

There are vertical pillars, made of concrete (I'm assuming), appearing to be blocks stacked on each other with a repeating design on the face of each.
The lights--amazing!--are part of the pillars. He took the same design of the concrete and repeated it for the light covers. So the lights are subdued, embedded in the pillars. I'll see if I can find a photo somewhere so you can see it . . . if not, be sure to put this site on your to-do list. It is well worth the visit.

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