Monday, February 15, 2010


Some details of the Arizona Biltmore, the Jewel of the Desert, designed by Albert McArthur and Frank Lloyd Wright (but more so by McArthur.) Emry Kopta's abstracted palm frond motif is repeated everywhere here in various forms, and although Wright had issues with the way this design was used decoratively among the resort's buildings I think it does a good job in making concrete seem to vibrate sonically. That's what I'm thinking now, anyway. For the first day I was here I kept thinking I was revisiting Riis Park, transformed and misplaced, ocean dried up.

On Wright's considerations of architecture in Arizona, "Arizona character seems to cry out for a space-loving architecture of its own. The straight line and flat plane, sun-lit, must come here-of all places-but they should become the dotted line, the broad, low, extended plane textured because in all this astounding desert there is not one hard undotted line to be seen." and "Here all is sculptured by wind and water, patterned in color and texture. Rocks and reptiles no less so than cacti. A desert building should be nobly simple in outline as the region itself is sculptured, should have learned from the cactus many secrets of straight-line patterns for its forms, playing with the light and softening the building into its proper place among the organic desert creations..." From Frank Lloyd Wright in Arizona by Lawrence W. Cheek.

All lines, dotted. An infinity of points. Artifacts of a beautiful mind.