Mod.Fab by Taliesin West

Works that come out of Frank Lloyd Wright’s southwestern school of architecture always manage to combine a respect for their institution’s founder with adaptations to needs and materials of our times. This modern prefab unit in the desert is no exception, its vivid colors and blocky modernist shapes almost seeming like a mirage in the remote location.

Frank Lloyd Wright Student House

Mod.Fab by Taliesin West back terrace

The so-called MOD.FAB (images by Bill Timmerman) has distinctively modern colors and planar characteristics, but “the one-bedroom, 600-square-foot prototype residence” also “relies on panelized construction to allow for speed and economy on site or in a factory.”

The walls slip past one another and up above the roof line, giving the impression of complex space and movement despite the relatively small footprint of the structure.

“It can be connected to utilities or be “unplugged,” relying on low-consumption fixtures, rainwater harvesting, greywater re-use, natural ventilation, solar orientation, and photovoltaics to reduce energy and water use. The structure is dimensioned and engineered to be transportable via roadway.”

Mod.Fab by Taliesin West side

Mod.Fab by Taliesin West inside

Mod.Fab by Taliesin West back view

“Taliesin West is a National Historic Landmark nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, AZ.  It is also the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the School of Architecture at Taliesin.”

“Wright’s beloved winter home and the bustling headquarters of the Taliesin Fellowship, was established in 1937 and diligently handcrafted over many years into a world unto itself. Deeply connected to the desert from which it was forged, Taliesin West possesses an almost prehistoric grandeur. It was built and maintained almost entirely by Wright and his apprentices, making it among the most personal of the architect’s creations.”

Taliesin West is open to the public and offers a broad range of tours, though many student-designed structures like this one are located farther afield. You can check out the school’s website to make a reservation.