News April 15, 2024

Senior Associate Matthew Arnold Heads to Arizona!

Senior Associate Matthew Arnold Heads to Arizona!

Matthew Arnold, a Senior Associate and architect at Hacin, recently visited Arizona as a guest of Lutron, a longtime partner of the firm. Read on to hear more about Matthew’s experience!

As a leader in architectural lighting, window treatments, and whole house control systems, Hacin has seamlessly incorporated many Lutron products into our projects with the Ketra fixtures in particular amplifying many of the design elements in our work over the years. Lutron and Ketra recently outfitted Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West residence with their fixtures with the intention of highlighting and complementing Wright’s iconic architecture. Our local Lutron rep, Strateres, invited me to join them on a trip to Phoenix this month to experience the power of Ketra lighting firsthand. 

With just 50 hours in Phoenix for the trip, we had a jam-packed schedule of fun and exciting events. 

The first stop of the next day was Cosanti Originals, which was the home and laboratory for architect Paolo Soleri. The compound consists of numerous earth-formed structures of all different shapes and sizes. Each structure was an experiment in passive solar heating and cooling with the intent to create a world that is balanced with nature. The word ‘Cosanti’ means against things, which feels appropriate for these unique forms and architecture.

The next stop on our adventure was the stunning Waldorf Astoria Biltmore Hotel, which represents luxury and comfort that is unmatched. The elegance of the spaces and the amazing list of guests who’ve stayed at the hotel kept us on our toes through the whole tour!

As an architect in his 40s who is only just now experiencing the powerful architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright in person, touring Taliesin West was a mind-blowing experience. The home was built in 1937 and acted as the winter residence and desert laboratory of Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the great American architects. I found it interesting that upon Wright’s return every winter, he would make edits, changes, and additions to Taliesin West. It’s almost as if the architecture was not viewed as precious, but rather as more of an experiment.

I enjoyed learning that every Saturday night, for more than 30 years, Wright would host a dinner party for all of his apprentices to attend. They were required to bring a tuxedo and a sleeping bag! He did this to say thank you for their hard work but also for an unexpected reason- he knew that in order to become successful architects, his students would need to learn how to engage with the public. Even back then, he understood the importance of networking and building a community. What a great mentor!

After touring the buildings in the daylight, we got to re-enter the spaces after dark to see how Lutron and Ketra’s lighting transformed the spaces. I’m not sure there was anything more stunning than that experience! We also had the privilege of enjoying a beautiful sunset dinner on the prow of the property- I really can’t explain how magical that was!

Thank you to Lutron for a once-in-a-lifetime trip and SoulScape Media for the wonderful photography from the experience! Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay up to date on other firm updates.