top of page

An Unseen Look at Frank Lloyd Wright's Controversial Arizona Capitol "Oasis"

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

The structure was criticized as “too ornate” and “too expensive” to build.


The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will soon release a publication highlighting one of the acclaimed architect’s unrealized and polarizing designs: the Oasis Arizona Capitol. For the issue, the Foundation commissioned Spanish architect David Romero to create stunning visualizations of what the proposed Capitol would look like using 3D software and techniques.

Wright initially gave his plans for the Oasis State Capitol back in 1957 as a gift to his adopted home state where he had lived for 20 years. The city, however, was divided over the widely-published designs with some calling it “too ornate” and “too expensive” even though its estimated cost was $5 million USD — $3 million USD less than the originally proposed skyscraper, as per a statement from the Foundation. “One legislator went so far as to say that the Oasis looked like an ‘oriental whorehouse.’”

The Oasis was an homage to Arizona’s desert landscape with the design incorporating a bohemian establishment outfitted with a sprawling canopy of copper-plated latticework, plenty of openings for sunlight, fountains and lush greenery. Birds would also be permitted to roost, nest and fly through its spaces. Not to mention a pedestrian transportation would be included in the structure’s design complete with moving sidewalks and shuttles across its series of gardens and fountains.

Check out the visualizations of the Oasis above and then head to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s website to learn more.

3 views0 comments


bottom of page