Frank Lloyd Wright Student Builds Tiny Desert Dwelling That Fits Only a Bed

by , 07/17/13

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Miner's Shelter, Broken Arrow Workshop, Taliesin, Dave Frazee, Miner's Shelter, small shelters, desert shelters

Frazee used the existing stone chimney and concrete walls as a base for his shelter project, placing the steel and glass box on its sturdy concrete pad. Harmonizing with the landscape, the glazed glass is joined by oxidized steel which provides privacy and support in the back of the structure, and emulates the rusty red colors of the desert. The glass sides and front door give ample lighting during the day, while candles and oil lamps provide incandescent light at night time. The side awning style windows open like wings, creating a cross breeze which effectively cools the small space inside. A glass front door can also be opened to bring in more fresh air. In the winter, the existing chimney can be used to warm the small interior.

In the footsteps of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Miner’s Shelter’s design responds to the land, cantilevering over uneven places rather than leveling the natural rock or existing structure there. The concrete ruins also serve as a patio area, with the structure overlooking the concrete pad, which is partially enclosed like a patio. Inside, a small L shaped shelf is the only structure other than the bed,  which can be used to hold books or more importantly, candles. A few pictures are hung on the dark plaster walls, but the windows provide a picturesque view, directly into the desert.

Each year, students are assigned to create a temporary shelter in the desert near Taliesin, but Frazee’s Miner’s Shelter remains as a permanent fixture for other students and guests to enjoy.

+ Broken Arrow Workshop

Via Houzz

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  1. Steve Lamb May 26, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Yes its not legally a house or dwelling. This means it requires no permits and that students can have the experience of building something they have designed and learning from their mistakes on their own dime and time as opposed to a client. Its a great program and every Architecture school should do this. One pisses in one of the bathroom facilities nearby for those who are so concerned. Mr. Graves, I work as a building restorer. I have restored buildings dozens of architects and Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings are very well constructed and practical

  2. Kevin Graves April 11, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    typical Lloyd Wright….stunning, with no practicality.

  3. Wyatt Sanders August 20, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    that home would do well with some solar panels!

  4. remakarski May 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    thank you

  5. William Morshi May 5, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Taliesin west was frank Lloyd Wright winter compound…. Summer temperatures aren’t the main focus. Cool addition to an already beautiful place.

  6. Dinah Miller October 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Where do you piss?

  7. BeachDude September 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Without even a self-contained working plumbing system, (toilet, sink, shower), it’s legally not a house or home. It’s called a box. A concrete box, but still, it’s a box.

  8. jabailo July 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Average temperature in there during summer?

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